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Chelsea are set to play at least six fixtures in January, including Premier League games against fellow title contenders Liverpool and Manchester City and London rivals Tottenham.
After a 1-1 draw against Liverpool in the reverse fixture at Anfield, Chelsea are set to play host to Jurgen Klopp’s side in January.
The African Cup of Nations is expected to have a big effect on this crucial tie, as the Afcon 2021 will kick off on January 9, and the players are expected to be in camp by the first week of January.
It was expected that Chelsea will lose Hakim Ziyech and Edouard Mendy to the competition, but it has been confirmed that Ziyech will be staying put.
Ziyech has since fallen out with Vahid Halilhodzic, the Morocco head coach and won’t be a part of the Moroccan squad for the upcoming tournament in January.
Meanwhile, Liverpool will lose key players Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita to the competition. It doesn’t end there, Liverpool left back Andy Robertson is also expected to miss the fixture.
Robertson is currently serving a three-match suspension for the red card he received against Tottenham on Sunday, and he missed the game against Leicester in the EFL Cup last night, and was expected to miss the Leeds United game on December 26, and Leicester again in the Premier League on December 28. However, both games have been cancelled, meaning that Robertson will be ineligible for the Chelsea game on January 2.
Chelsea have been on the receiving end of Covid-19 and injuries trouble, which has made Thomas Tuchel play with a depleted squad for some time now. It may now be Liverpool’s turn to taste a bit of the same medicine.