It’s a big game at the beginning.
Chelsea travel to Anfield on Saturday night to play Liverpool who sit 3rd in the table level on points with Chelsea in a battle of title challengers. This game comes amidst the final days of the transfer window and as I write this Cristiano Ronaldo is going to be rejoining Manchester United which is absolutely crazy. If there is a time to play a top four rival though it is at the beginning of the season when everyone is still trying to settle in.
Liverpool have had a quiet transfer window with the only incoming player being Konate the centre back. The big positives for Liverpool this summer have been that their big players are back form injury particularly Virgil van Dijk. The centre back was crucial to Liverpool’s title win two seasons ago but was missing last season and it cost the Reds. Liverpool have played Norwich and Burnley so far this season and have comfortably beaten both teams over 90 minutes. Jota and Salah seem to clicking once again but they are yet to be tested. The main plus point for Liverpool will be that Anfield has fans back in the stadium this season.
Chelsea go into this game having beaten Arsenal 0-2 last weekend with Lukaku and Reece James on the scoresheet. It was a game in which Chelsea didn’t need to be at our best and we were no where the levels we were against Palace. The big positive from that game was the way Lukaku played and the Belgian along with Chelsea will face a tougher test in Van Dijk and Liverpool. Chelsea have had a solid week to prepare for this game and Tuchel said that the whole squad were ready to go. There isn’t much to report from the press conference because most of the questions were unrelated to the game itself.
Chelsea Team Preview
I think Tuchel has a fully fit squad to select from with the only exception being Zouma who has travelled to France for personal reasons but is also on the end of an impending transfer to West Ham. Pulisic might also be missing. Mendy should start in goal with a back three of Chalobah, Christensen, and Rudiger. I think Azpi might be benched for this one because Chalobah would be able handle the pace of Mane. Azpi could start though. Reece James and Chilwell as the wing backs. Reece was great against Arsenal and with Liverpool’s pace and possession play Chilwell should return to cope with it on the left. Jorginho and Kante in the midfield most likely. Up front, it should be Mount, Werner and Lukaku. Havertz could be used from the bench but with Liverpool’s high line and the joy Werner had last season against them he should return to the starting lineup. The bench is strong and the likes of Ziyech etc are all available to play. Chelsea will need to be at our high pressing high tempo best for this game and we will have to be clinical. The big plus point is that we have Lukaku who is also very good at breaking the lines but can also play as that physical anchor point like he did against Arsenal.
Liverpool Team Preview
Klopp has a fit squad to select from as well. The usual starters have been playing over the last two games with the only exception being left back Tsimikas who had come in for the injured Robertson. Robertson over the last week has returned to training and is fit to be part of the squad. It should be the usual 4-3-3 for Klopp with Alisson in goal. The usual back four of TAA, Matip, Van Dijk, and Robertson should start. Elliot, Henderson, and Keita have formed a good midfield trio for now with Salah, Jota, and Mane starting up front. Liverpool have no real depth to select from and this is the best lineup available the only option could be Konate, or Firmino or Thiago. It is more or less Liverpool’s title winning team back fit and fighting which is a serious team to consider.
Starting XI Prediction
It’s a big game between two title rivals but at the moment Chelsea are the European Champions and the one in the ascendancy. With Anfield packed it will be tough but like Tuchel said we are now ready to fight in these big games and have won big results to go into these confident that we can leave with a win. COME ON CHELSEA!!!