Picking the Chelsea XI That Should Start Against Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday
Chelsea endured a torrid time on the opening weekend of the Premier League, as Frank Lampard’s side were dismantled by Manchester United at Old Trafford.
The Blues performed reasonably well during the first half but collapsed in the second period in that 4-0 drubbing, as the defence failed to live with the pace of the United frontline. However, the Chelsea players have the perfect opportunity to bounce back in the UEFA Super Cup against Champions League winners Liverpool.
With injuries aplenty in the Chelsea squad, many of those who started against United may be given the chance to redeem themselves against the Reds on Wednesday.
Here’s how they could lineup against Liverpool in Istanbul.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK) – The Spanish International was a consistent performer for Chelsea last season, keeping 14 clean sheets in the Premier League as well as seven in the Europa League. The 24-year-old was not at fault for any of the goals against United and is set to start in goal against Liverpool.
Cesar Azpilicueta (RB) – New Chelsea captain Azpilicueta has been a superb servant for the club since his arrival in 2012. The 29-year-old still has a few seasons left at the top of the game, and his experience will be valuable for Lampard’s side throughout the season. He will be keen to get his hands on his first trophy as captain on Wednesday.
Kurt Zouma (CB) – Frank Lampard has stated he has faith in Zouma to deliver for Chelsea this season. Zouma has a wealth of Premier League experience now having been on loan at Stoke and then Everton in previous seasons. A clumsy challenge on Marcus Rashford that resulted in a penalty will have worried Chelsea supporters, but with Antonio Rudiger injured, Zouma will keep his place.
Andreas Christensen (CB) – With David Luiz leaving the club this summer for Arsenal, Christensen looks set to be a regular starter in the side. He brings a large amount of composure to the backline.
Marcos Alonso (LB) – Alonso found himself on the bench on Sunday against United with Emerson favoured ahead of him. However, the Spaniard may get his chance against Liverpool as Lampard continues to assess his squad.
Mateo Kovacic (CM) – Although Chelsea faced a transfer ban this summer, they were allowed to sign Kovacic on a permanent basis from Real Madrid last month after he impressed on loan last season at the Blues. The Croatian brings a great deal of tenacity and energy to the midfield and will start ahead of N’Golo Kante, who is not fully fit.
Jorginho (CM) – Lampard has been impressed with how vocal Jorginho has been in training and identifies the midfielder as a crucial part of his side. He will control the tempo of matches and looks set to start against Liverpool.
Pedro (RW) – The 32-year-old winger was the second top scorer for Chelsea last term with eight goals but must step up his game further this year with previous talisman Eden Hazard now at Real Madrid.
Ross Barkley (CAM) – Barkley is an extremely gifted and talented footballer but has never held down a regular spot for either Chelsea or England. With Ruben Loftus-Cheek injured and Mason Mount still in his formative years, Lampard will be hoping Barkley can step up this season.
Christian Pulisic (LW) – The American has enormous Eden Hazard shoes to fill this campaign. The former Borussia Dortmund winger was left out of Lampard’s starting XI against Manchester United, but did come on during the second half and is in line to make his first competitive start against Liverpool.
Olivier Giroud (ST) – The Frenchman is a brilliant focal point for the Blues as he holds the ball up well and can link play effectively. He has a huge amount of experience on the biggest stage and could be selected over Tammy Abraham for this reason.