In any season, in any competition, a meeting between Chelsea and Liverpool is one of world football’s great fixtures on the calendar, and after the two sides met only days ago in the League Cup at Anfield, the Blues this time play hosts at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Saturday evening.
As two of only three sides remaining unbeaten in the English top flight this season, Jurgen Klopp takes his Reds side to the capital, bent on exacting revenge for Wednesday night’s defeat on Merseyside.
The visitors have won all six of their opening league meetings to start the new campaign, as hopes of winning a first Premier League title become a distinct reality, with few genuine threats to Manchester City’s league crown.
Chelsea meanwhile were held against a vastly improving West Ham United side last Sunday, and as they face the table-toppers this weekend, will be eyeing consecutive wins against the visitors in a matter of days.
Here is the best potential starting XI Blues boss Maurizio Sarri could name to face Liverpool.
1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK) – The Blues’ new number one has yet to impress between the sticks in west London, and could be a busy man this weekend.
Cesar Azpilicueta (RB) – After Victor Moses played in midweek, Chelsea’s most consistent and reliable defender will start at right-back.
Gary Cahill (CB) – Antonio Rudiger is a major doubt for the game, and with Andreas Christensen also struggling, Cahill could be prompted into a second start against the Reds in as many days.
David Luiz (CB) – Partnering Cahill will be the Brazilian, who has looked far more comfortable in Sarri’s new system.
Marcos Alonso (LB) – Alonso will play a key part during the 90 minutes. Expect the Spaniard’s attacking forays to be a signature part of this Saturday’s clash.
N’Golo Kante (CDM) – The host’s midfield destroyer is perhaps the first name of any team sheet and the Frenchman will be the enforcer against the Reds
Jorginho (CM) – The Italian has slotted in seamlessly into English football, and with his phenomenal pass completion rate, gives the Blues a vital element of creativity also.
Mateo Kovacic (CM) – The Croatian has yet to impress since moving to Stamford Bridge on loan, but will likely start this crucial game.
Willian (RW) – With Pedro struggling with a shoulder injury, the Brazilian’s strength and guile could be key this weekend.
Olivier Giroud (ST) – The Frenchman is perhaps favoured to Alvaro Morata, given the Spaniard’s continued erratic nature in front of goal. Giroud netted against the visitors back in May also.
Eden Hazard (LW) – The Belgian is in scintillating form right now and will fancy his chances of adding to his league tally this season, having netted in the Carabao Cup in midweek.