Chelsea vs Liverpool ~ 25/11/2017 – within Nigeria0
1 of the defining rivalries of the Premier League era will enter its newest chapter on Saturday when Liverpool welcome champions Chelsea to Anfield in the evening kickoff.
Two locations and three points separate the sides in the Premier League table going into the weekend, even though each are playing catch-up to runaway league leaders Manchester City following 12 games of the season.
For Liverpool the priority should first and foremost be to break into the leading four, and they will want a speedy response to their midweek collapse in Seville if they are to accomplish that this weekend.
Chelsea were comfortable midweek winners in Europe, but they have failed to beat Liverpool in their last five meetings and the Reds have had one day’s extra rest from their Champions League exploits.
Here, Sports Mole selects the strongest combined XI from the two squads employing a 4-2-three-1 formation, with only players offered for the weekend becoming thought of for choice.
GK: Thibaut Courtois
Liverpool’s defensive troubles have been properly documented, and numerous fans are nevertheless not completely convinced about Simon Mignolet between the sticks, so this is a straightforward choice to get started off with.
Thibaut Courtois began his Chelsea career by ousting a club legend out of the team in the type of Petr Cech, and he has gone on to establish himself as one particular of the leading goalkeepers in planet football more than recent seasons.
An ever-present in the Premier League this season, Courtois has kept six clean sheets from his 12 matches so far – a tally bettered only by David de Gea and Ederson.
RB: Cesar Azpilicueta
1 of handful of players in the Premier League who would make it into pretty significantly each and every group in two unique positions, Cesar Azpilicueta produced his name at proper-back ahead of switching to the heart of defence and arguably enhancing his reputation even additional.
Unlike several of the complete-backs in the game currently, Azpilicueta’s most important strength is his exceptional defensive potential, but he can be effective going forward too and currently has two goals and 5 assists to his name across all competitions this season.
Most of his appearances have come at centre-back, but with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez battling out for the appropriate-back spot in Nathaniel Clyne’s absence for Liverpool, the group would advantage most from obtaining Azpilicueta in this wider role.
CB: Andreas Christensen
Even with Azpilicueta out of the equation, the two centre-back spots are contested amongst three Chelsea players in this team – and that is not even like the out-of-favour David Luiz.
Andreas Christensen has worked his way into Antonio Conte’s very first-group plans this season and the youngster is becoming extra and extra of a fixture in the Chelsea starting XI with nine starts across all competitions already this term.
The Denmark international narrowly beats club captain Gary Cahill into the side by virtue of obtaining averaged much more tackles, interceptions and blocks per game than his teammate.
CB: Antonio Rudiger
Slotting in alongside his Chelsea teammate at the heart of the defence is Antonio Rudiger, who has immediately established himself as arguably the team’s first-option centre-back though Azpilicueta is out on the appropriate.
Joel Matip is the only genuine competition from Liverpool, but the considerably-maligned Reds defence can not genuinely anticipate a representative when up against a Chelsea backline who have conceded seven fewer targets than them more than the opening 12 games of the season.
Rudiger has made 15 appearances across all competitions for Chelsea this season and averages a lot more clearances per game than any other player in the Blues’ squad.
LB: Marcos Alonso
Possibly the most potent attacking threat from complete-back in the Premier League at the moment, Marcos Alonso located the back of the net six instances in the league final season and is currently nicely on his way to beating that tally this time around.
Final weekend’s strike against West Bromwich Albion was his third of the campaign, with only Alvaro Morata possessing scored extra in the Premier League for Chelsea this season.
By contrast, left-back is a issue location for Liverpool and Alberto Moreno showcased some of his shortcomings once more in the course of the midweek draw with Sevilla – though on the complete he has been a great deal improved so far this season.
CM: Philippe Coutinho
I know what you’re pondering – Philippe Coutinho in a holding part?! I can almost hear the incredulity in your voice from right here, but the man beside him in the heart of midfield makes it probable and ought to nevertheless enable Coutinho to maximise his attacking influence.
This may well be a deeper part than the Brazilian is used to playing, but he has excelled as a deep-lying playmaker in the previous and would have a field day pulling the strings for the guys in front of him in this group.
The likes of Cesc Fabregas and Tiemoue Bakayoko offer the opposition for a spot in the group and would maybe give a small far more defensive solidity, but it is not possible to leave Coutinho out of this side.
CM: N’Golo Kante
A group needs to be balanced, of course, and while the majority of this lineup is extremely attack-minded, the presence of N’Golo Kante makes that much less of a challenge.
The reigning PFA Player and FWA Footballer of the Year missed some of the season by means of injury, but he has swiftly returned to his most effective type and it will come as no surprise that he leads the way for tackles per game in the Chelsea squad.
Liverpool’s midfield options of Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum and Emre Can don’t come close to Kante, who is 1 of the handful of players who would make it into any combined XI in the league.
RW: Mohamed Salah
Arguably the most impressive player in the Premier League so far this season, and surely the very best signing, Mohamed Salah has hit the ground operating in his second crack at English football.
The Egypt international is the league’s best scorer with nine goals in just 12 games, and in all competitions that record improves to 13 ambitions in 17 outings.
Add to that three assists as well and Salah is just about contributing to a goal per game considering the fact that arriving at Anfield, linking up impressively with Liverpool’s other forwards to make them one particular of the most exciting attacking teams in the country.
CAM: Eden Hazard
Following a slow and injury-hit begin to the season, Eden Hazard now appears to be hitting prime type once again with a string of sensational performances for Chelsea in recent weeks.
The Belgian has scored eight objectives and created two a lot more in his last nine appearances for club and nation, which includes 3 goals and a single assist in his previous two outings.
Hazard may possibly not possess the pace of the two players flanking him in this formation, but his close manage and trickery should dovetail completely with the speed demons joining him in the three just behind the striker.
LW: Sadio Mane
Another who has noticed his season disrupted by injury, Sadio Mane reaffirms his value to Liverpool every single time he requires to the field and had he been accessible all through final season and this, the Reds could have been in a much much better position on each counts.
This term the Senegal international has been restricted to 10 appearances in all competitions due to suspension and injury, but in that time he has nonetheless managed to score four objectives and produce 3 far more.
The flying winger comfortably beats off competitors from the likes of Willian and Pedro for a place in this team and his blistering pace will be anything Chelsea have to preserve a pretty close eye on this weekend.
CF: Alvaro Morata
How Actual Madrid have to rue selling Alvaro Morata now. Even though Karim Benzema and even Cristiano Ronaldo continue to toil away, Morata has created a fine start off to life at Stamford Bridge with only Salah possessing scored more Premier League goals than him this season.