Liverpool vs Chelsea - Football tactics and formations

The first battle of the Premier League’s main title challengers sees Liverpool entertain Chelsea at Anfield on Saturday, with a number of battles on the pitch set to take centre stage.

Chief among those is Romelu Lukaku squaring up against Virgil van Dijk.

Chelsea’s new signing opened his second stint at the club with a debut goal against Arsenal last week, while van Dijk looks to be getting back to his best, helping Liverpool to consecutive clean sheets after missing the bulk of last season.

Liverpool have been in good shape so far this season and will be boosted by the return of Andrew Robertson to the defence after an ankle injury kept him out of the opening two games.

The Scotsman will likely replace Kostas Tsimikas at left-back despite two impressive displays from the Greek in his first two Premier League starts.

Alongside Robertson, the defence should remain unchanged, with Joel Matip partnering van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold on the right.

Fabinho has not started a game yet after coming off the bench on opening day and missing last week’s win over Burnley due to person reasons. The Brazilian should return to the midfield, allowing Jordan Henderson to move forward alongside Naby Keita, taking Harvey Elliott’s place.

All four of Liverpool’s attackers have scored across the opening two games, and Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will almost certainly start again in their usual wide roles.

The selection dilemma for Jurgen Klopp comes in picking between Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino in the centre-forward role. The former has netted in both matches so far, and his form should see him continue from the start.

Chelsea have also started in fine fashion, oozing confidence after lifting the Champions League last season.

The back three of Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and, particularly, Antonio Rudiger is working well and should line up together again, with Marcos Alonso and Reece James on either flank.

Ngolo Kante came off the bench in last week’s win over Arsenal but should start this one alongside Jorginho in midfield, with Mateo Kovacic making way.

With Lukaku in the No.9 role, Thomas Tuchel could recall Timo Werner at Kai Havertz’s expense as one of the inside forwards, accompanying Mason Mount.

At least one of these teams’ perfect records must end this week, and this fixture could be an early indication of who is closer to lifting the Premier League trophy in May.

Predicted XIs: Liverpool vs Chelsea

Liverpool vs Chelsea (1-1) Aug 28, 2021 Match Preview and Stats

By ariox