Liverpool vs Chelsea – Combined XI


Liverpool and Chelsea meet within the Premier League this weekend with each groups in want of a constructive consequence to salvage stalling seasons.

Jurgen Klopp’s aspect have started the brand new yr with back-to-back Premier League defeats and are ten factors outdoors the Champions League locations, with Chelsea an additional place again in tenth after a turbulent begin to Graham Potter’s reign at Stamford Bridge.

Forward of this weekend’s assembly, we’ve picked our Liverpool and Chelsea mixed XI. Solely gamers obtainable – or in rivalry to characteristic – have been included.

Goalkeeper: Alisson – Liverpool

Liverpool’s season has not gone to plan thus far, however the Reds could be in a wholly worse predicament had it not been for the performances of Alisson.

Simply 5 groups have offered extra clear-cut probabilities to opposing sides than Jurgen Klopp’s males by way of xGA (anticipated objectives in opposition to), with Alisson having commonly bailed out his backline.

The Brazilian has prevented 7.42 objectives for Liverpool this season, greater than another goalkeeper within the Premier League. It’s the most in Europe’s high 5 leagues, with no different goalkeeper having prevented greater than 6.50.

Proper-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool

The present type of each squads makes deciding on this mixed XI troublesome and Trent Alexander-Arnold is among the many listing of names whose ranges have dropped this season.

Nevertheless, Reece James’ absence makes Alexander-Arnold the standout choice at right-back, regardless of a drop in his productiveness this season. The 24-year-old’s profession thus far has seen Alexander-Arnold win each obtainable main honour, whereas he ranks third within the Premier League’s all-time charts for assists by defenders.

He has offered only one league help this season, however his underlying numbers point out he might quickly return to his previous heights. Solely Kevin De Bruyne has performed extra progressive passes this season, whereas Alexander-Arnold ranks second amongst Premier League defenders for by means of balls, passes into the penalty space, and anticipated assists, behind Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier.

Centre-back: Ibrahima Konate – Liverpool

Ibrahima Konate will likely be required to step up within the absence of Virgil van Dijk for Liverpool, with the Frenchman a participant of actual promise.

Konate has confirmed an excellent luck appeal for Liverpool and it took 18 months earlier than he suffered his first defeat when named within the beginning aspect, that loss coming within the latest collapse at Brentford. Enchancment is required from Jurgen Klopp’s aspect, however the German has enormous religion in Konate to emerge as a long-term chief of the Liverpool backline.

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He was the one shiny gentle in an in any other case disastrous efficiency at Brighton final weekend, earlier than a stable displaying helped Liverpool to a clear sheet at Wolves within the FA Cup. Nonetheless simply 23, he boasts a effective mixture of energy, poise and potential.

Centre-back: Thiago Silva – Chelsea

Thiago Silva remains to be going robust in Chelsea colors, with the veteran centre-back defying time. There have been preliminary doubts when Chelsea agreed the free switch signing of Silva from Paris Saint-Germain in 2020, however he has confirmed an impressed addition.

The 38-year-old has been Chelsea’s most constant defender in a season of wrestle at Stamford Bridge thus far. A pure chief with a burning will to win, Silva is the kind of character who will guarantee requirements are maintained in west London.

At the same time as he approaches his forties, his personal have barely dropped. He stays a commanding presence and has made extra clearances (74), interceptions (24), blocks (17) and profitable passes (1185) than another Chelsea participant within the Premier League this season.

Left-back: Andy Robertson – Liverpool

Alisson apart, there may be maybe no Liverpool participant who has not suffered because of the membership’s struggles this season however Robertson stays an important a part of the aspect.

The Scotland worldwide has offered extra assists this season (8) in all competitions than another Liverpool participant, an important contribution given the shortage of creativity from a maligned midfield.

Robertson’s trade and supply from huge areas has been a think about Liverpool’s success in latest seasons, with the 28-year-old not too long ago passing Leighton Baines for essentially the most Premier League assists offered by a defender within the division’s historical past.

Ben Chilwell’s absence makes Robertson an easy inclusion at left-back, in a mixed aspect created from two squads struggling to reside as much as expectations.

Midfield: Mateo Kovacic – Chelsea

Midfield has been an space of concern for each golf equipment this season, with our choice primarily based extra on previous performances than the dross typically served up this season.

Mateo Kovacic has been under his typical normal throughout the present marketing campaign however stays a midfielder with a novel skillset, one able to regaining, recycling and progressing the ball with ease.

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The Croatian works tirelessly within the engine room and has the craft to chop by means of opposition strains with driving runs ahead, a press-resistant expertise who typically comes alive when area is minimal. Chelsea will demand extra from Kovacic, who’s able to greater than he has proven of late.

Midfield: Thiago Alcantara – Liverpool

You’d need to be dwelling below a pretty big rock to have prevented the criticism of Liverpool’s midfield this season, as Jurgen Klopp’s engine room has malfunctioned on multiple event.

Thiago has typically been a minimize above his overwhelmed teammates this season, a superb technician with nice toes and consciousness. The Spaniard has constantly matched his qualities on the ball with a want to win duels and regain possession, however has too typically been let down by a scarcity of legs round him.

He shone as Liverpool received at Wolves within the FA Cup in midweek, in a new-look midfield three that includes teenager Stefan Bajcetic and Naby Keita.

Klopp might use the identical trio in opposition to Chelsea this weekend, one which offered his aspect with an power that has been missing this season. Thiago and Keita have received all seven video games they’ve began collectively at Liverpool, together with two semi-finals and a remaining. That the full is simply seven video games is a sign of the latter’s struggles for health.

Midfield: Mason Mount – Chelsea

Mount is one other title on this aspect enduring a tough patch of kind, however is able to far more than he has proven this season.

Chelsea’s Participant of the Season in every of the previous two campaigns, the 24-year-old turned the primary Englishman since Frank Lampard in 2009 to win the membership award.

Mount produced the most effective numbers of his profession final season with 11 objectives and ten assists within the Premier League. He was one in every of simply three gamers – alongside Mohamed Salah and Jarrod Bowen – attain 10+ on every metric.

Chelsea will hope Mount can rediscover these ranges because the membership look to climb the league. Having added Mykhailo Mudryk and Joao Felix to their artistic solid, Mount might thrive with elevated choices round him.

Proper-wing: Mohamed Salah – Liverpool

Mohamed Salah is a bona fide Liverpool legend. Since returning to English soccer following an underwhelming spell at Chelsea, the Egyptian has set file after file tumbling.

Chelsea will come face-to-face with the winger they allowed to go away west London this weekend, in a choice which should nonetheless rankle the membership’s hierarchy. Salah has had a number one position in Liverpool’s fashionable success and has scored 173 objectives in 282 video games – simply six gamers have ever scored extra for the membership.

The three-time Premier League Golden Boot winner has 17 in all competitions this season and is the joint-leading scorer within the Champions League. He would be the man Chelsea most concern this weekend.

Left-wing: Cody Gakpo – Liverpool

Either side are quick on firepower this weekend, with Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic sidelined for Chelsea, and Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Roberto Firmino all absent for Liverpool.

Cody Gakpo earns inclusion in our mixed aspect, regardless of an underwhelming begin to his Liverpool profession. The Netherlands worldwide has arrived at a troublesome interval for the membership however confidence is excessive that he could make an influence after a settling-in interval.

He arrived within the winter window because the main goalscorer and help supplier within the Eredivisie this season, having offered 30 aim involvements in 24 appearances for PSV. Three objectives on the 2022 World Cup additional demonstrated his capabilities on the highest stage.

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Mykhailo Mudryk – who might make his debut after an £88m transfer to Chelsea – will hope to show he’s essentially the most thrilling signing of the January switch window.

Ahead: Darwin Nunez – Liverpool

Darwin Nunez has had a combined begin at Liverpool, however there have been encouraging indicators from the ahead this season.

Nunez has scored ten objectives in 15 begins throughout all competitions and has averaged a aim or help each 109 minutes throughout his debut marketing campaign at Anfield. Whereas the 23-year-old has discovered himself a goal for criticism resulting from a wasteful spell round aim, he has the uncooked attributes to be a serious success within the Premier League.

He leads the division for pictures and pictures on track per 90 minutes this season and has a mix of uncooked athleticism and energy than can unnerve Premier League defences. Liverpool will hope the Uruguayan has recovered from a hamstring grievance in time to face Chelsea.

Learn – Iconic Duos: Heskey and Owen – Liverpool’s ‘large man, small man’ combo that impressed a cup treble

Learn Additionally – Noughties Nines: Mr. Thunderbastard, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

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