Callum Hudson-Odoi (No. 20) Right wingback, England
Callum Hudson-Odoi has had an eventful past few months. He went from not getting nearly enough game time under Lampard, to starting every game for Tuchel, to getting subbed off after being subbed on thirty minutes before, to getting subbed off at halftime due to injury concerns. It has been a difficult 18 months for the youngster and he has done well to come out strong. He has tried his best to hold down the position he has secured in Tuchel’s line-up and he is succeeding so far.
Mateo Kovacic (No. 17) Central midfielder, Croatia
Mateo Kovacic has been one of the most consistent players under Tuchel and it’s easy to see why. The team has been set up in a way that allows Kovacic to flourish and worry more about breaking presses with his dribbles, and less about defending—though he does that too. He has played his role in helping Chelsea dominate opposing midfields. Tuchel seems to trust the Croatian fully and it is safe to say that regardless of whoever comes into or leaves Chelsea, Kovacic will remain in this line-up and his partner will be determined on a game-by-game basis.
N’Golo Kante (No. 7) Central midfielder, France
N’Golo Kante was excellent against Manchester United. He made the most defensive actions, to nobody’s surprise. He made an impressive seven tackles and four interceptions, the most in both metrics. The Frenchman has finally showed the form he hadn’t showed yet under Tuchel. He was key in breaking up Man United’s transitions, killing the Red Devils’ counters and making sure Chelsea kept control of the midfield. He will be needed again against Liverpool, as this midfield battle will be even more difficult than the last one. Kante will come up against Thiago Alcantara, and he will need to be at the top of his game for the Blues to keep a foothold on things at Anfield.
Ben Chilwell (No. 21) Left wingback, England
Ben Chilwell came in for Marcos Alonso against Man United and it can be said it was to nullify—or at least contain—the threat of Daniel James on the counter. It worked perfectly. Liverpool offers a similar threat, so expect a similar line-up. Chilwell’s ability to better get back into defensive positions, even after running forward, will be key in this match. The threat of Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold will need some containing indeed, if it’s even possible. Alonso is still a better left wingback, but the demands of this game are a little different from what a traditional wingback offers.