For Chelsea fans, they may start believing this team is ready to challenge for the Premier League title this campaign if they beat Liverpool tomorrow.
The Blues travel to Anfield for a daunting Premier League away day, which should give a great indication of where the team is at in this early stage of the season.
Saturday’s game isn’t conclusive, but the winner can take a huge psychological advantage moving forward.
Chelsea convincingly beat Arsenal 2-0 in their previous game, but that doesn’t gaurantee manager Thomas Tuchel will stick with the same XI.
Here The Chelsea Chronicle tries to predict Tuchel’s starting line-up to face Liverpool, which includes three changes from last weekend:
Of course, Edouard Mendy can be expected in-between the sticks again. He’ll be in huge confidence after being awarded this week the individual prize of UEFA Champions League goalkeeper of the season.
Despite the options in the squad, Chelsea may stick with the same back-three.
Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger may retain their spots. It could be a tough evening against Liverpool’s quality forward options.
However, centre-halves Thiago Silva and Trevoh Chalobah have got to be in Tuchel’s thinking.
First of all, the opening change to the XI would see Ben Chilwell replace Marcos Alonso at left wing-back. It’s a bold call given Chilwell is yet to play this season, but surely his defensive qualities are needed over the more adventurous Alonso.
The right wing-back position should stay the same with Reece James, who scored and assisted against Arsenal.
Meanwhile, there may be a second change in the centre of the park.
UEFA men’s player of the year, Jorginho, will surely continue. However, expect £30million machine N’Golo Kante to come back into the side now he’s fit in place of Mateo Kovacic.
Kovacic has done very little wrong at the start of the season, but you need Kante’s astonishing energy in this huge Liverpool fixture. Also, he won UEFA Champions League midfielder of the season earlier this week.
Mason Mount and Kai Havertz were the starting pair against Arsenal behind frontman Romelu Lukaku. Tuchel may mix it up, though, to exploit Liverpool’s backline.
Timo Werner is one of the most explosive attackers around, so perhaps he’ll be promoted to the XI because of his pace and movement.
It seems most likely he’ll replace Havertz in the team because Mount gives so much on and off the ball, while number nine Lukaku looks a nailed-on starter.
Predicted Chelsea 3-4-2-1 line-up
Azpilicueta Christensen Rudiger
James Kante Jorginho Chilwell
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