After a commanding performance against Wolves in the domestic league, Chelsea fell to a 1-0 defeat on their trip to Mestalla in their first group stage game of the Champions League earlier this week. They now face an even tougher test, when they welcome Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
The Reds were also on the losing side earlier this week, as Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli ran away 2-0 winners in their group game. But Klopp’s men have won each of their five league games this season and will hope to keep up that run this weekend.
The Blues have won just once in their last nine meetings against The Reds and Frank Lampard will hope that his side put in a better performance than they did in Istanbul in the UEFA Super Cup final earlier this season.
Chelsea Team News
Youngster Mason Mount was at the end of a horrible tackle late in the game against Valencia. But Lampard is quietly confident that he will at least make the squad for this weekend if not the first team.
Callum Hudon-Odoi and Reece James are still a few weeks away from regaining full fitness while N’Golo Kante is also sweating to make the squad for this game. There was no specific update from Lampard on Emerson and Rudiger but the former was pictured in training during the week.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is still out.
PREDICTED CHELSEA LINEUP vs LIVERPOOL (3-4-2-1)
Kepa Arrizabalaga will have his work cut out against a quality Liverpool attack in this game. He has not been at his best this season and his side needs him to step up in this crunch clash.
There is a lack of clarity over which formation Lampard will go with but if Rudiger is absent he might opt for a 3-man backline to protect the underperforming defensive stars.
In that case, Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen and Fikayo Tomori will be starting in the Chelsea lineup.
Marcos Alonso could make way for Emerson given the latter’s impressive displays before the injury. Cesar Azpilicueta will sport the armband and will add some experience to the backline at right-back.
There will be the temptation to put N’Golo Kante straight back in the Chelsea lineup but a risk at this stage looks unlikely. Matteo Kovacic could continue in his role in central midfield.
Jorginho has been one of the most consistent players in his role in the league this season. But he will have his work cut out in trying to break Liverpool’s possession and dominate their midfield.
Christian Pulisic is yet to light up the league but is usually effective in big games and could come to life against Liverpool. He will hope to get the better of Trent Alexander-Arnold, who is not the best while defending.
Pulisic will start on the left flank while Pedro could keep his place in the side on the right-wing.
Tammy Abraham is the joint top goal scorer in the league going into this game but he will face his toughest test yet when he goes up against Virgil van Dijk in Liverpool’s defence.
Here is how they might line up: