Chelsea vs Liverpool: Will youth trump experience?

Chelsea FC players
Chelsea FC players

Jurgen Klopp has spoken of his admiration for Frank Lampard’s young Chelsea team. But that is where the admiration will stop as soon as referee Michael Oliver blows his whistle on Sunday.

Both teams are coming off Champions League defeats with Chelsea losing at home to Valencia and Liverpool losing away 0-2 to Napoli.

Chelsea also lost the influential Mason Mount to injury during the game although N’Golo Kante could make an appearance.

For Klopp, there is no need to change so much after the lacklustre 2-0 defeat away at Napoli.

Tactical Directions

Will Lampard persist with a back three in view of Liverpool’s expected use of overload on the flanks using the two marauding fullbacks of Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold?

That is the major question with Klopp expected to use the tried and successful 4-3-3, which boasts the dynamic front three of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah – they already boast 10 goals between them in the first five league games.

Lampard also has to choose two from Willian, Pedro, and Christian Pulisic to support the in-form Abraham though Mount will make that front three if he gets over his ankle injury.

Three duels to watch

Tammy Abraham v Virgil van Dijk

Abraham has surprised the division with his seven goals but in Van Dijk, he will come up against the standard-bearer of central defenders – the reigning UEFA Player of the year and a colossus for the Reds at the back.

Jorginho v Roberto Firmino

Firmino is the bastion of Liverpool’s attack and is also the first man to press the opposition attack while Chelsea’s first point of offence is usually the Italian, who can be caught in possession.

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Fikayo Tomori v Mohamed Salah

Another of the Chelsea Academy graduates who have come in to take his place in Chelsea’s starting 11 is Tomori and he already has a goal to show in his two appearances. But he will be put under severe pressure by the speedy Salah, who will want to add to his four goals.

Did you know?

Chelsea have beaten the side starting the day top of the EPL on 18 occasions.

Team Stats

Chelsea Comparison Liverpool
5 Games Played 5
11 Goals Conceded 4
0 Clean Sheets 1
21 Shots Faced (on target) 14
62 Tackles Won 49
46 Tackles Lost 28
57.4% Tackles Won (%) 63.6%
329 Duels Won 252
266 Duels lost 233
55.3% Duels won (%) 52%
2,357 Successful Passes 2,481
437 Unsuccessful Passes 494
84.4% Pass accuracy 83.4%
14 Successful crosses 15
41 Unsuccessful Crosses 88
25.5% Cross accuracy 14.6%
75 Successful dribbles 50
33 Unsuccessful dribbles 34
69.4% Dribbles success 59.5%
56 Fouls Won 36
48 Fouls Conceded 44
8 Yellow Cards 2
0 Red Cards 0

 

What the Managers are saying

“We have to be at our best which we have shown in phases this season and at other times we haven’t. One thing is against Liverpool if you aren’t at your best for 90 minutes or if there are a couple of moments where you can’t dig in then now I think they will punish you.” – Frank Lampard, Chelsea Manager

“It is a difficult league and we have to prove our quality pretty much in a three-day rhythm. Sometimes it works out and sometimes not, we know that as well.” – Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool Manager

Probable XIs

Chelsea [3-4-3]: Arrizabalaga; Christensen, Tomori, Azpilicueta, Emerson, Jorginho, Kante, Kovacic, Willian, Pulisic, Abraham

Liverpool [4-3-3]: Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Mane, Firmino, Salah

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