Eden Hazard between the lines a key tactic for Chelsea ahead of Liverpool clash

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Following an entertaining encounter in the Carabao Cup third round, fans will be treated to another clash between Chelsea and Liverpool, this time at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League, on Saturday.

The Blues emerged with a 2-1 victory to dump Jurgen Klopp’s side out of the domestic competition with Eden Hazard taking the plaudits after an incredible winning goal at Anfield.

Here, we look at the key tactics Maurizio Sarri could employ to get the better of Klopp again.

Check out Liverpool’s key tactics here.

PASSING THROUGH THE PRESS

Liverpool’s style of play is built on the foundation laid by Klopp’s gegenpressing strategy.

Winning the ball high up the pitch and attacking in the transition is key, but Sarri’s philosophy is in direct opposition to that. He insists his that his teams play out from the back.

The two centre-backs split wide, allowing Jorginho (or Cesc Fabregas in midweek) to drop deep and receive the ball. Meanwhile, the full-backs position themselves higher up in their own half and hug the touchline. This creates three triangles for passing options usually conducted by the defensive midfielder.

When executed correctly, it can break through Liverpool’s two lines of pressing and giving them a clear run at their defence.

HAZARD MOVES INSIDE

With Liverpool focused on working hard to prevent Chelsea from passing their way through their pressing game, a vast space opens up between their midfield and defence.

That’s precisely what happened in the second half of the Carabao Cup clash which prompted Sarri to introduce Eden Hazard.

The Belgian had a field day with the space he was afforded when drifting in from the left and receiving the ball between the lines. His phenomenal dribbling and close control saw him wreak havoc, scoring a sensational winner at the end of a mazy run.

Getting the ball to him is a challenge when Liverpool press with intensity. But if one of the midfielders can thread a ball through to him or find him with a lobbed pass, he can take care of the rest.

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Mohamed Salah can increase Liverpool's threat in behind to take down Chelsea

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Following an entertaining encounter in the Carabao Cup third round, fans will be treated to another clash between Chelsea and Liverpool, this time at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League, on Saturday.

The Blues emerged with a 2-1 victory to dump Jurgen Klopp’s side out of the domestic competition with Eden Hazard taking the plaudits after an incredible winning goal at Anfield.

Here, we look at the key tactics Klopp could employ to get the better of Maurizio Sarri this time.

Check out Chelsea’s key tactics here.

MARKING JORGINHO

Liverpool allowed Cesc Fabregas too much time and space during the first half of their defeat at Anfield. The Spaniard was able to dictate play and regularly got the attack moving by finding Cesar Azpilicueta on the touchline or playing a quick pass through to Ross Barkley between the lines.

Klopp ensured Fabinho got closer to the playmaker in the second period and it was effective as Liverpool were afforded two one-on-one scenarios with Willy Caballero, stemming from Chelsea’s mistakes as a result. Jorginho should start in that role this time around and the Reds must exert that sort of pressure on him.

THREAT IN BEHIND

Sadio Mane was the only representative of Liverpool’s famous front three who started in the cup clash. Daniel Sturridge and Xherdan Shaqiri are by no means sluggish, but the attack still lacked a bit of zip and movement in the absence of Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.

Chelsea employ a dangerously high line and Mane was able to get in behind on a number of occasions, but the threat could’ve been doubled had Salah been operating on the opposite flank as well. Firmino’s movement is equally crucial, though.

While Sturridge offers a different dimension in attack and is more of a goalscorer, the Brazilian has a knack for pulling defenders out of position and linking up play to get the best out of Mane and Salah.

28 09 PREVIEW TACTICS - liverpool2 (1)

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Liverpool team news v Chelsea as Virgil van Dijk is a major doubt

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Virgil van Dijk is a major injury doubt for Liverpool’s Premier League fixture at Chelsea this weekend.

Liverpool’s record signing aggravated a rib problem in the Reds’ 3-0 victory over Southampton last week and has not trained with the first team since, so Dejan Lovren could start at the back at Stamford Bridge.

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Georginio Wijnaldum have recovered from a knock and illness, respectively, for a game in which manager Jurgen Klopp will bring back his regulars after fielding a largely second string side in a Carabao Cup defeat to the Blues in midweek.

Provisional squad: Alisson, Mignolet, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Lovren, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Milner, Keita, Salah, Firmino, Mane, Clyne, Matip, Moreno, Henderson, Fabinho, Shaqiri, Solanke, Sturridge.

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