After an impressive 3-1 victory over Manchester United in their FA Cup semi-final, Chelsea take on Premier League champions Liverpool on Wednesday night.
With Leicester losing at Tottenham 3-0 on Sunday, the west London side are firmly in the driver’s seat in the race to qualify for next season’s Champions League. But they can afford no more slip-ups, and perfection will be necessary if they are to get anything out of a game with arguably the best team in the world.
Here’s how the Blues should lineup at Anfield.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK) – Likely to be recalled back to the starting lineup, Kepa’s shot-stopping ability will be hugely important for his team against a potent Liverpool attack.
César Azpilicueta (RB) – A stalwart of Chelsea’s backline, Azpilicueta’s experience and positioning will benefit his colleagues at the back.
Antonio Rüdiger (CB) – Has rebounded from his poor performance at Sheffield United with two solid outings against Norwich and Man Utd. Rüdiger will certainly need to be at his best against a hungry Roberto Firmino.
Kurt Zouma (CB) – Now established himself in Lampard’s first choice backline, the Frenchman’s speed and athleticism is key.
Marcos Alonso (LB) – Has started the last two games in a more solid defensive structure for the Blues.
Jorginho (DM) – A calming presence on the ball, Jorginho was vital in the win over the Red Devils – and will aim to replicate this against the Reds.
Mateo Kova?i? (DM) – The Croat has been one of Chelsea’s standout players this season. Kova?i?’s creative eye could help find gaps in their opponents’ defensive structure at Anfield.
Mason Mount (AM) – With Fabinho in terrific form at the moment, Mount’s energy and intelligent movement could see him deployed as a number ten in order to drag the Brazilian out of position and make him a non-factor on Wednesday night.
Willian (RW) – It’s a shame that the Blues will likely lose the Brazilian on a free transfer in the summer. Willian has hardly put a foot wrong since the league’s restart and will almost certainly start at Anfield.
Olivier Giroud (ST) – The revelation of their now-potent attack, Giroud’s impact on Lampard’s frontline cannot be overestimated. He’ll relish a physical battle against Virgil van Dijk.
Christian Pulisic (LW) – An unused sub for the FA Cup semi-final win, the 21-year-old will be well rested and ready to go at Anfield. Pulisic’s exciting battle with Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold will be one to watch throughout the game.