Liverpool vs Chelsea: Combined XI ahead of Anfield clash

Liverpool and Chelsea meet in the Premier League on Wednesday evening, as one of the division’s biggest rivalries resumes at Anfield.

The two teams have played out some classic encounters since the turn of the century, regularly going head-to-head on big nights at home and in Europe.

Ahead of their latest clash, we’ve chosen our Combined XI from the available names in the two squads.

Liverpool vs Chelsea Combined XI ahead of Anfield clash:

Goalkeeper: Alisson – Liverpool

In the summer of 2018, Chelsea and Liverpool each broke transfer records to sign new goalkeepers. Liverpool landed Alisson in a deal worth £66.8m from Roma before Chelsea broke that record with the £71.6m signing of Spanish shot-stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

It’s fair to say Liverpool got the better deal, with Alisson emerging as one of the best Premier League goalkeepers of all time on Merseyside. The Brazilian has been integral to the Reds’ recent success under Jurgen Klopp, with Kepa having largely flopped in West London.

Chelsea signed Robert Sanchez and Djordje Petrovic in the summer, though neither are in Alisson’s class.

Right-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s influence at Liverpool continues to grow and the 25-year-old’s inversion into midfield has been a feature of the club’s season.

Only Mohamed Salah (17) has created more big chances than Alexander-Arnold this season (12), who also ranks fourth for key passes and fifth for shot-creating actions. Chelsea fans will argue that Reece James is a more complete player, but the club captain has hardly featured enough to challenge Alexander-Arnold’s place here.

Centre-back: Ibrahima Konate – Liverpool

Ibrahima Konate is a man in real form right now, with the French centre-back having excelled in recent weeks. A colossal physical presence with improvement in his ability in possession, he has taken his game up another level alongside Virgil van Dijk this season.

His mix of sheer speed and strength is a formidable challenge for Premier League forwards to navigate.

Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk – Liverpool

Back to his best this season, Virgil van Dijk has sent a statement to those who suggested his best seasons might be behind him after a dip last term.

Van Dijk tops the Premier League for aerial duels won (85) and has won 81% of his contested duels in the air this season, with the Dutch defender dominant when taking to the skies. Having inherited the captain’s armband in the summer, he has been Liverpool’s leader by voice and example this season.

Left-back: Ben Chilwell – Chelsea

The left-back options in each squad have suffered from fitness problems this season, though we’ve sided with Ben Chilwell over the returning Andy Robertson.

Chilwell offers real drive and forward threat when in the Chelsea side, with the West Londoners a different prospect whenever the 27-year-old and Reece James are fit and available. The issue, however, is that neither has been available often enough.

Midfield: Moises Caicedo – Chelsea

Chelsea and Liverpool went head-to-head over the signing of Moises Caicedo in the summer, with the former winning the race to complete a £115m British record deal.

Caicedo has overcome a slow start to grow in confidence at Chelsea and Mauricio Pochettino is confident the 22-year-old can become one of the best in the Premier League.

If Caicedo can improve on his Brighton best, where he ranked second in the division for tackles and interceptions last season, Pochettino’s prediction might be correct.

Midfield: Dominik Szoboszlai – Liverpool

Dominik Szoboszlai formed part of Liverpool’s midfield rebuild in the summer and has been arguably the most exciting of the close-season arrivals. The Hungarian mixes fleet-footed technique in tight spaces with an eye for the spectacular, as demonstrated by several stunning strikes scored this season.

Consistency is the biggest challenge for the 23-year-old as he bids to reach the next level, though his effort can not be faulted.

Midfield: Curtis Jones – Liverpool

Curtis Jones continues to get better and better in a Liverpool shirt, having kicked on over the last 12 months. The 23-year-old struggled for minutes across the first half of last season, but after a strong run-in has built on those performances to become integral for Jurgen Klopp.

Jones’ retention of the ball is elite and improvement in his impact in the final third has made him a key figure. He has five goals for the season, already the best return of his career to date, and is pushing for a maiden England call-up in the spring.

Right-wing: Cole Palmer – Chelsea

Mohamed Salah’s absence through injury opens up the opportunity for Cole Palmer to take the right-wing position.

Palmer has been one of the signings of the season since swapping the blue of Manchester City for Chelsea, flourishing amid a regular role and responsibility at Stamford Bridge.

The 21-year-old, who made his England debut in November, has scored 11 goals and provided seven assists for Chelsea in all competitions.

So often at the heart of Chelsea’s best football this season.

Left-wing: Luis Diaz – Liverpool

Luis Diaz is back enjoying his football again after a troubled time away from the pitch. The Colombian was superb as Liverpool beat Fulham to reach the Carabao Cup final earlier this month, scoring a crucial goal and impressing with his adventurous wing play.

Diaz at his best is a brilliant watch, full of flair and determination to beat defenders. The 27-year-old has seven goals this season and has scored in each competition for Liverpool, as the Reds compete on four fronts.

Forward: Darwin Nunez – Liverpool

Darwin Nunez’s detractors might point to some wayward finishing, but the Uruguayan is a huge threat for Liverpool.

Nunez was the first Premier League player to record 10+ goals and 10+ assists in all competitions this season, while he has already improved on his goal involvement return from his debut campaign in English football.

The 24-year-old has hit an impressive run of recent form and followed a clinical brace against Bournemouth with a well-taken goal in Liverpool’s FA Cup win over Norwich at the weekend.

Read – Seven of the greatest moments in the Chelsea-Liverpool rivalry

See more – Every player to score a Premier League hat-trick this season

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