Chelsea vs Liverpool: Combined XI
Chelsea host Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool in the lunchtime kickoff on Saturday looking to resurrect their Premier League campaign after five defeats in their first ten league games.
Jose Mourinho is a man under pressure as the battle between two of the most dynamic and colorful managers in world football could well prove to be a deciding fixture which determines whether the Portuguese keeps his job.
It promises to be nothing short of enthralling with both teams evenly matched but current form tilts the scales slightly in favor of the Reds. Both these teams have some top class players in their ranks, so picking a combined XI isn’t going to be a walk in the park.
Goalkeeper – Simon Mignolet
Don’t be shocked. If Thibaut Courtois were not whiling his time away in the treatment room, he’d be an automatic pick as the Belgian No.1 is one of the best in the world. But with a knee injury having ruled him out until December, Mignolet gets the nod over Asmir Begovic.
Defence – Nathaniel Clyne, Gary Cahill, Mamadou Sakho, Alberto Moreno.
Nathaniel Clyne has impressed since his arrival from Southampton in the summer and pips out of form Branislav Ivanovic at right back.
Probably the only defender at Chelsea who has done a decent job for the most part, is Gary Cahill and the England international gets the nod over the likes of Zouma and Skrtel.
John Terry has been indifferent this season, having been hooked at the break at the Etihad and sent off against West Brom. Mamadou Sakho is finally looking settled at Liverpool after an inconsistent start to his Liverpool career. The Frenchman makes it to our combined XI.
Cesar Azpilicueta has been rather poor this season, making errors in judgment and positioning that is unlike of his form last term. Alberto Moreno provides pace and natural width down the left flank.
Midfield – Milner, Fabregas, Willian, Coutinho, Hazard.
James Miller edges into the team over Nemanja Matic who is having a nightmare season after the Serbian powerhouse was given his marching orders last week at Upton Park.
Cesc Fabregas has been patchy but is head and shoulders above any other Liverpool midfield player which makes him an automatic choice.
Willian has scored a few delightful free kicks this season and is a more handy option in attack than Adam Lallana.
Philippe Coutinho and Eden Hazard should play as CAM and LAM respectively. The Brazilian has the ability to unlock defences with his vision while the out of form Hazard, who saw another penalty saved at Stoke on Tuesday, is a menace when in top form. The Belgian has to be in the combined XI with his pace and ability on the ball.
Striker – Christian Benteke
With Diego Costa’s injury problems and temperament holding him back and Daniel Sturridge missing the start of the season with an injury, the big money summer signing Benteke seems the obvious choice.