Liverpool vs Chelsea: 5 things to look for in the blockbuster match

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 04: Sadio Mane of Liverpool is challenged by Antonio Ruediger of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield on March 04, 2021 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Phil Noble - Pool/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 04: Sadio Mane of Liverpool is challenged by Antonio Ruediger of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield on March 04, 2021 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Phil Noble - Pool/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 4
Next
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – MARCH 04: Sadio Mane of Liverpool is challenged by Antonio Ruediger of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield on March 04, 2021 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Phil Noble – Pool/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – MARCH 04: Sadio Mane of Liverpool is challenged by Antonio Ruediger of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield on March 04, 2021 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Phil Noble – Pool/Getty Images) /

1) The shaky defense

While Chelsea has been absolutely wonderful in this season so far, one aspect where it does not seem quite so sure is the defense. In the game against Villarreal, the Blues were far from their best and their defense was getting sliced open time and time again. The men in yellow hit the post twice before scoring a lovely goal from within the box. Although the English side went on to win the Super Cup via a penalty shootout, there was a clear problem in the defense.

In the match against Crystal Palace, the Blues were absolutely dominant from the first minute onward. The European Champions controlled the pace of the game and kept the Eagles off the ball for long periods of time. Even when the Palace players got the ball, the forward progression was stopped in the midfield most of the time. Palace had only 38 percent possession and had only one shot on target the entire game. The defense was not really tested in that contest.

However, in the game against Arsenal, there were a few issues. Although the Blues went on to win in dominant fashion, the Gunners did ask a few questions and got behind the Chelsea defense a number of times. Firstly, Marcos Alonso being so high up the pitch was always asking for trouble. Nicolas Pepe exploited the left flank a few times and even left Alonso on the floor in one run. As James was playing in a more advanced position, he was also not being able to track every cross sent to his flank. This allowed the likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe to sneak behind the defense a few times.

Although bad touches from the Arsenal players—along with good defending from Cesar Azpillicueta—gave Chelsea the clean sheet, it cannot make the same mistakes against the Liverpool front three. The trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino is deadly. There are a lot of good things to talk about within the current Chelsea team. However, the Blues need to improve upon their flawed areas, as well. If they don’t have an air-tight defense, the title could slip out of their hands quite easily as the season progresses.

Next. Chelsea: UEFA Champions League 2021/22 group stage draw preview. dark

Who do you think will make the biggest difference in this titanic match? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!.