AFTER an emphatic 5-2 win over Wolves last weekend, the Blues were brought back down to earth following a narrow 1-0 Champions League opening game defeat to Spanish side Valencia at Stamford Bridge.
Despite the inconsistency of the results so far, I have been very impressed with the team this season under new manager Frank Lampard. The transfer ban is starting to look as a blessing in disguise with the youngsters making the most out of the opportunity and a few senior players rising to the occasions, most notably Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and Emerson.
Statistically, 100% of Chelsea’s league goals this season came from the academy graduates. Tammy Abraham has banged in seven goals, Mason Mount has scored three while Fikayo Tomori scored a stunning screamer last weekend to get his name among the goals. A strong proof of the saying “If you’re good enough, you’re old enough”.
While Lampard’s approach in giving youth a chance is welcomed, he needs to start getting results from the big matches and a victory over undefeated Liverpool will be a massive boost to his side.
The two sides last met in the highly competitive Super Cup match in August which ended in an entertaining 2-2 draw before Liverpool eventually came out tops in a penalty shoot-out. Ever since his decisive penalty miss in the shoot-out, Tammy Abraham (pic) has shown tremendous attitude and he is currently flourishing as the league’s top scorer alongside Man City’s Sergio Aguero.
Abraham’s hat-trick at Molineux last week sends a strong message to the rest of the teams in the league. There is no doubt that he is a special striker in the making and has all the attributes and potential to light up the league. A test against a defensively solid Liverpool set to be led by UEFA Player of the Year Virgil Van Djik will be the biggest challenge yet for the young striker.
Having one of the best defensive records in the league, the Reds have conceded just four league goals despite not having first-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker in between the posts. This is in contrast to Chelsea, who have one of the worst defensive record in the league with 11 goals conceded in just five games.
The absence of N’golo Kante due to injury is strongly being felt. The Reds’ main attacking threat of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino will be relishing the prospect of facing the vulnerable Chelsea defence.
However, it is an ideal time for Chelsea to face Liverpool after their midweek loss to Napoli, which was their first defeat of the season.
Coming back from a first setback is a tricky task as Jurgen Klopp is surely looking for an instant reaction from his side against a young and energetic Chelsea side at Stamford Bridge.
A draw will be a decent result for Chelsea but I strongly believe if Kante is fit, three points will be in the bag for the Blues.
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