'I’d be pulling on him': Pundits think £18m Chelsea man should be targeting one Liverpool player

Tony Cottee and Emile Heskey both agreed that Olivier Giroud should be looking to bully Ozan Kabak when Chelsea face Liverpool, speaking on Premier League Productions.

All eyes will be on Anfield tonight when Thomas Tuchel takes his Blues to the home of the reigning Premier League champions.

It will certainly be an intriguing contest on the side lines between two tactically astute managers who have forged very similar footballing pathways.

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There may also be an interesting battle going on the pitch between Liverpool’s centre-backs and Chelsea’s forwards.

The Reds defensive issues have been well documented, which were inflamed when they signed two central defenders at the last minute on transfer deadline day.

One of those being Kabak from Schalke, who has started the last four games for Liverpool.

His settling in period hasn’t been smooth and it probably won’t get any easier if he plays against Chelsea later today.

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Both Heskey and Cottee believed the Blues should be targeting Liverpool’s 20-year-old defender, especially if Giroud is leading their attack.

“It’s tough for these young boys,” said Cottee, a former West Ham United striker.

“He’s been literally thrown into the team for obvious reasons. I don’t think he’s ready for it. He’s learning on his feet and he will get better.

“If you’re Olivier Giroud, you’re thinking ‘here we go, get the ball into me and get the service in.’ He’ll give him a real game.”

Ex-Liverpool goalscorer Heskey continued, saying: “I’d be pulling on him (Kabak). I’d be going over to his side all the time. I’d be saying just hit me and get runners off me.

“I’d be leaning in and bringing the ball down.”

£18m (BBC Sport) Giroud has been included by Tuchel in the past two fixtures but drew a blank last weekend at home to Manchester United.

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Tammy Abraham was excluded from that squad entirely, with Timo Werner left on the bench.

Chelsea’s coach will certainly keep everyone guessing over who he will pick up front.

Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Twitter account here.

Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.