Chelsea’s Premier League title charge has experienced a perfect start so far this season, with two wins from two matches, five goals scored and zero conceded.
Thomas Tuchel’s men have an identical record to Liverpool, who they are set to meet at Anfield on Saturday in what promises to be a high-profile clash which could have an impact on the eventual champions.
The Reds will be difficult opponents to overcome, but Chelsea and Tuchel already have a blueprint detailing how to beat Jurgen Klopp’s outfit, which proved to be successful last year.
When the two sides last met in March, the Blues managed to secure a 1-0 win over Liverpool while also edging the performance over the course of the 90 minutes, taking 11 shots while allowing seven at the opposite end.
Speaking before the bout, Tuchel was asked why he included Timo Werner over Olivier Giroud in his line-up, and he replied: “Speed, speed, speed. Speed against the high line. If we had expected the game to be deeper, then we’d have gone with Giroud. But against a high line, we need speed.”
It was ominous how the Chelsea boss would exploit Liverpool’s defensive approach and it worked, although it is worth noting that Werner was caught offside several times.
The main strength of the German forward is arguably his explosiveness, which made him ideal for the match due to Liverpool’s tendency to push up and execute a risky defensive game, as shown below.
Chelsea defeated Arsenal in their last match and it was telling that Werner started as a substitute and wasn’t introduced until the 90th minute, replacing Kai Havertz.
That could be recognised as Werner’s rest, which appears similar to what Tuchel did last season before the 1-0 victory at Anfield.
The Blues faced Manchester United in their match before Liverpool last season, with Werner again playing a total of just 12 minutes having started from the bench.
For the second time in a row, Tuchel has benched Werner in the lead up to a clash with Liverpool, and that could be due to the importance of his speed against Klopp’s last line of defence.
However, one big difference this time around is Liverpool’s centre-back department, with the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konate all available to start the fixture.
Fabinho and Ozan Kabak started in defence in March due to Klopp’s injury crisis, with Curtis Jones in midfield and Gini Wijnaldum deployed as the team’s holding midfielder.
Exploiting Liverpool’s defensive line with pace could be harder to achieve this time around but nevertheless, Tuchel would argue that he possesses the perfect weapons to beat the Anfield side this weekend.
Source by Football London