After the midweek defeat in the Carabao Cup, what better way to get over that defeat by dusting yourself down and getting maximum points away to the team that inflicted that defeat, Chelsea. Here’s who Tye Anfield Talk’s Ian (@ianyoungkop) thinks will start today at Stamford Bridge.
Alisson: After being rested midweek, it’s time for the big Brazilian to get back between the sticks. Even though Mignolet was I think harshly criticised by some for our midweek loss to Chelsea, I don’t think he played well enough to oust our number 13.
Alexander-Arnold: One thing that was blatantly obvious in midweek was the gulf in class between our starting and back up fullbacks. Clyne who is rightly an international full back, still seemed a huge step back from Trent. Welcome back TAA.
van Dijk: As of writing Virgil Van Dijk is still a big doubt with bruised ribs, for today’s game. Fingers crossed he’s made it, as no one was probably missed as much as big Virgil during the Carabao Cup tie. A natural leader and organiser at the back, plus his calmness confidence at bringing the ball out of defence, it would be a huge plus to have him back.
Gomez: If our prayers aren’t answered and Van Dijk doesn’t it make it, we will be looking to Joe to be the calming influence at the back, partnering either Lovren or Matip. After a fantastic start, Lovren has his work cut out taking back his starting place along side Van Dijk in the heart of our defence.
Robertson: Like Trent Alexander Arnold, it was evident in midweek, the huge drop off from Robertson to Moreno. Unfairly criticised I believe by some for Hazard’s goal, it was still some way off from being his best game for the reds. Andy Robertson is a lot to live up to in terms of form and consistency, and we need the Scotland captain back in our back four!
Milner: For me this is definitely a game I believe we need our vice captain. Has ability to see that killer pass on the counter attack, I expect us to allow Chelsea to have quite a lot of the ball. Also a calm head in this huge match away from home, James could be unlikely key battle in this heavyweight battle.
Winjaldum: Gini is probably having his best season as red so far in 18/19. He’s shown how well he can break on the counter, as well as break up the oppositions attacks. Also popping up with the odd goal, he’s finally scored away from home, and who would bet against him getting another at Stamford Bridge today.
Keïta: After an impressive start against, we are still waiting for the real Naby to show up. A mix of playing in a new league, and learning a new way of playing under a different manager has seen Naby a little sloppy in possession, nervous in front of goal and caught in no man’s land tactically at times. However midweek, he was definitely one of our better players and I can see his pace and ability to run with the ball being a huge advantage during our counter attacks today.
Mané: It’s probably a toss up between Van Dijk and Sadio for our player of the season so far, and with this being such a big game, I can’t see Sadio not playing at Stamford Bridge today. Again a weapon of mass destruction when using the counter attack, if we are to gain maximum points in London, I’d assume Mané would be heavily involved.
Firmino: With all the exceptional talent we have in our squad these days, I’m not sure anyone effects the way we play more when he isn’t playing is Bobby. No one quite presses from the front the way he does, and similarly no one quite drops deep so effectively to start off attacks. No longer underrated, the rest of Europe is starting to stand up and notice, what the Liverpool fans realised a long time ago.
Salah: After a long season and a World Cup, some are suggesting that “Mo” hasn’t been at his best, but with only only one goal less than last season and the same assists at this stage, what better way to prove the doubters wrong by doing the business against his old club. Another player like Bobby, his absence seems to effect the way our team plays, he was another big miss midweek and it’ll be great to see Mo Salah running down the wing again.
Do you agree with my first XI prediction? Who do you think Klopp will choose, who would you choose? Get in touch, tweet us at @TheAnfieldTalk.