Chelsea face a visit to Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday in what is expected to be a mouthwatering tactical battle at Anfield.
The Blues have enjoyed a flying start to the new Premier League season, winning their first two games with two clean sheets to boast. They thrashed Crystal Palace 3-0 at Stamford Bridge in their season opener before beating Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Thomas Tuchel’s men head into Saturday’s contest looking to continue their brilliant start to the season; however, they’ll be in for a stern test of their title credentials against an in-form Liverpool side that has also won their opening two games.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek tested positive for Covid-19 before the opening game of the season, and while he should finish his isolation period before the trip to Liverpool, he is unlikely to be considered for selection.
Christian Pulisic contracted the Covid-19 virus before the Arsenal game and will not be ready in time to face Jurgen Klopp’s side. But N’Golo Kante and Hakim Ziyech provided a double injury boost to Thomas Tuchel by returning from injury as substitutes against the Gunners last weekend.
Predicted Chelsea lineup vs Liverpool (3-4-2-1)
Two clean sheets in as many games should give Edouard Mendy a lot of confidence in goal and he’ll be hoping to make it three shutouts in three at Anfield.
The three-man backline of Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger were rarely tested by Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. However, they’ll likely face one of the deadliest attacking trios in Europe on Saturday and will have to be at the top of their games to stop them.
Reece James put in a Man of the Match performance against Arsenal with a goal and an assist and should continue at right wing-back in the Chelsea lineup. Marcos Alonso has cemented his place in Tuchel’s starting XI and will look to stretch the Liverpool backline from the left wing-back position.
Jorginho has started the season very well for the Blues and is a certainty to start in the middle of the park in the Chelsea lineup. He and Mateo Kovacic were solid against Arsenal, but Tuchel could go for N’Golo Kante to partner Jorginho in Chelsea’s engine room at Anfield.
Mason Mount and Kai Havertz created so many problems for the Arsenal backline with their passing, movement off the ball and vision. Against a Liverpool side that plays with a high line; however, Tuchel might give the speedy Timo Werner the nod ahead of Havertz in the Chelsea lineup.
Romelu Lukaku marked his second Chelsea debut with a goal and a top performance that further justified his credentials as one of the in-form strikers in the game. The big Belgian will have to be at his sublime best on Saturday, as he certainly faces a far tougher task against Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip than he did against Arsenal’s Rob Holding and Pablo Mari.