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Opponent analysis: Chelsea FC

Liverpool have to play at Chelsea FC in London on Sunday. The Blues are starting the new season with club legend Frank Lampard as coach and without their top star Eden Hazard. For this, more emphasis should be placed on one's own youth.

As leaders of the table, the Reds have an unpleasant task in London at the end of the weekend. With the Blues, a rival awaits them at Stamford Bridge who has demanded everything from the Liverpool players in recent years. We took a close look at Chelsea.

Kader - youth researches with club legends

With Hazard, they lost their absolute leader in the offensive to Real Madrid in the summer. In addition, David Luiz, a regular central defender last season within London, was transferred to Arsenal. New additions were not possible due to a transfer ban. Only Mateo Kovacic was able to be permanently signed after his loan from Real Madrid due to a special permit.

Otherwise the cadre was improved with some returnees from the "Loan Army". Above all, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori, who played under Lampard at Derby last season, Tammy Abraham (Aston Villa), Kurt Zouma (Everton) and Reece James (Wigan), all players from their own academy who are in should be installed gradually this season. There are also other talents such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek or Callum Hudson-Odoi, who will also be given more working time.

Christian Pulisic, who was signed by Dortmund in the winter but was loaned back to BVB in the second half of the season, also joined in the summer. The current sixth place in the league does not reflect the quality and possibilities of this team.

Coach Frank Lampard - the club legend

 

 

The blues legend returned to the club in the summer after Mauricio Sarri was allowed to move back to Italy to Juventus Turin at his request, despite an ongoing contract and a good season (Europa League triumph, 3rd place and Carabao Cup final) . Lampard only began his coaching career in 2018 when he reached a surprising 6th place in the table with Derby County and was able to eliminate favorites Leeds United in the promotion playoffs. Only in the final did they lose to Aston Villa and missed promotion.

Lampard is considered to be a supporter of the youth, in the first games Mount and Abraham were given preference over Ross Barkley and Olivier Giroud, Luiz was given up because Lampard absolutely trusts Zouma, Tomori and Andreas Christensen in central defense.

Game system - favorite system or reaction to the Reds?

Lampard adapts his system to the strengths of the opponent. He played in the 3-4-3 against Wolverhampton Wanderers last week to mirror the Wolves' 5-3-2 and take away their counter-strength. That worked perfectly - a spectacular 5-2 win against the Wolves proved the manager to be right.

Against Liverpool, however, Lampard's favorite system can be assumed, the 4-2-3-1. From this compact basic order, in which the outside players also have to work a lot, Chelsea tries to get in front of the opponent's goal quickly with as few contacts as possible after winning the ball - primarily through team-based pressing. This system demands a lot from the players physically and can be compared with the system that Liverpool played under Klopp in the first years.

 

 

If Emerson does not get fit in time, Lampard may well bet on a 3-4-3 again, as Alonso can be protected more defensively.

Chelsea's form - below expectations

A shape curve can not really be seen at Chelsea. Good appearances like in the Supercup, in Norwich or at the Wolves alternate with weaker games like against Leicester or Sheffield. It is noticeable that the team performs better away than at home. It is difficult to say whether this is due to the higher pressure in front of your own fans or whether it has other reasons.

There are also large fluctuations within the games. Especially defensively, the whole thing is still very shaky, you have already conceded 11 goals in 5 games in the Premier League and have not yet played a game to 0. This is also due to the injury-related absence of Antonio Rüdiger, who has been out the whole season and is scheduled as head of defense.

Player To Watch: Tammy Abraham

 

 

The young striker showed very strong performances for Aston Villa last season, which he led to promotion with his 26 goals. The question before the season was now whether he would also score in the Premier League. The answer must be clearly “yes”. In 5 games he already met 7 times. Above all, his performance with the Wolves, who are considered to be very defensive, impressed. He scored a total of 3 goals.

Its play system reminds fans and experts of Didier Drogba, it combines speed, robustness and the killer instinct in front of the opposing goal. The instinct can also be seen in the fact that he only needed 15 shots for his 7 goals. For comparison, Aguero is 19 shots, Pukki 17. He has to be eliminated, Liverpool wants to get points in London.

forecast

How Chelsea would ideally want to play against Liverpool was seen in the UEFA Supercup. High pressing and quick switching, but also from time to time phases in which you position yourself deeply in your own half. Whether it works so well again in the league will mainly depend on whether N'Golo Kante (ankle) gets fit in time and whether he is fully operational, should he play.

 

 

The weak point at Chelsea is certainly the defense. Without Rüdiger there would be no real boss at the center, Zouma and Tomori are talented, but not far enough in their development. On the right, Azpilicueta is now getting on in years, especially for Lampard's game system he is now too slow, especially when Chelsea plays in 3-4-3. On the left, on the other hand, with Emerson, you have a player who looked like a good backup last season, but has blossomed into one of the secret stars this season.

It will also show how Chelsea coped with the Champions League game against Valencia during the week. After the Supercup, the next league game against Leicester saw a significant drop in level due to the lack of physical freshness in the second half. It is therefore easy to imagine that Liverpool Chelsea will try to play tired in the 1st half and then win the game in the 2nd half.








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