Home Sports Chelsea team news: Expected XI vs Liverpool as Tuchel makes three changes...

Chelsea team news: Expected XI vs Liverpool as Tuchel makes three changes from Man Utd


Chelsea travel to Liverpool this evening looking for a victory that would be huge in their search for a top-four finish this term. The Blues can move fourth and just four points off second-placed Manchester United with victory at Anfield, which would also put them four clear of tonight’s opposition. Express Sport looks at how Thomas Tuchel could line up as the Blues look to make it 10 unbeaten since the German’s appointment.

Goalkeeper: Mendy

Edouard Mendy was dropped for the home win over Newcastle last month but has started the past two league games for the Blues.

The Senegalese summer signing has kept 11 clean sheets in 21 league matches and should keep his spot between the sticks again here.

Mendy wasn’t yet a Chelsea player the last time the Londoners faced Liverpool and will take on countryman Sadio Mane for the first time since moving to England.

The shot-stopper said of boss Tuchel recently: “The coach gives confidence to all the players. We know what he wants so when we are on the pitch, we have to show why he has chosen us.

“He is very expressive and he shows when he likes something. When you do well on the pitch, every day at training and in the games, he pushes you.

“He stays positive but he also shows his determination, which is good for me and the team.”

Defence: Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Christensen

Thiago Silva is back in training after a thigh injury but Tuchel has confirmed that this fixture comes too early for the Brazilian veteran, insisting he is “not at 100 per cent”.

That means the same back three that played Manchester United at the weekend will continue here with Cesar Azpilicueta at right centre-back and wearing the captain’s armband.

Antonio Rudiger will start in the centre of the three-man backline, the German making his ninth straight league start.

On the left Andreas Christensen will start over Kurt Zouma looking to make amends after being sent off in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge back in September.

Zouma has only played in one of Chelsea’s seven league games under Tuchel and will occupy the substitutes’ bench again.

Midfield: James, Kante, Kovacic, Alonso

The two biggest calls for Tuchel come in the wing-back positions but two of Tuchel’s three expected changes to his starting line-up could come on the flanks.

Callum Hudson-Odoi started on the right against United with Ben Chilwell displacing Marcos Alonso on the left.

But the Spaniard could return to the team here while Hudson-Odoi could be replaced by Reece James to offer better deliveries for striker Olivier Giroud to work with.

In the two-man central midfield, N’Golo Kante will be trusted to bring the legs against Liverpool’s expected trio of Gini Wijnaldum, Curtis Jones and Thiago Alcantara.

Mateo Kovacic has excelled under Tuchel and the axis of the Croatian and the Frenchman will be crucial to frustrating the Merseyside outfit.

Attack: Mount, Werner; Giroud

Timo Werner was dropped to the bench against Man United with the idea of him being fresh to start on Merseyside and he will hope to exploit the space in behind Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Werner failed to make his mark in the last meeting against Liverpool, who were keen to sign him last summer before Chelsea sealed a deal with RB Leipzig.

On the right, though Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech are both options, Mason Mount should start yet again as one of this team’s most important players.

Tammy Abraham is a doubt with an ankle problem but Olivier Giroud would be expected to start this one as the sole striker regardless of the England international’s fitness.

The Frenchman has a fine strike rate against the Reds, with seven Premier League goals against them for Chelsea and Arsenal, four of which have come at Anfield.

Predicted Chelsea XI to face Liverpool (3-4-2-1): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; James, Kante, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount, Werner; Giroud


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