Thiago Silva ought to return to the starting XI while Romelu Lukaku and N’Golo Kante should also feature when Chelsea face off against Liverpool.

Chelsea will be aiming to close down the gap to the top of the table when they play hosts to fellow title challengers Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Sunday.

Leading up to the game, manager Thomas Tuchel has greeted mixed news on the roster front as Thiago Silva is back to full fitness and in contention to feature against Liverpool, but Reece James and Andreas Christensen have been ruled out. Ben Chilwell remains a long-term absentee for the Blues. Timo Werner and Kai Havertz are back in full training, but they are unlikely to be involved from kick0ff.

Chelsea vs Liverpool Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

Speaking of the injuries in his pre-match press conference, Tuchel said: “Andreas Christensen has the same back pain that he had before and which made him miss some games before but Thiago Silva is back in training. Timo does not feel good. He’s the one who suffers the most from Covid and who is still struggling physically.”

Some changes will be made to the side that failed to beat Brighton & Hove Albion in midweek. Edouard Mendy will line up in goal for one last time before taking off for the Africa Cup of Nations. With Silva back in training, he should walk right back into the side, replacing Christensen in the side.

Trevoh Chalobah should also get the nod, with Antonio Rudiger occupying the third centre-back slot. With James ruled out, Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta ought to move to the right wing-back slot while Marcos Alonso should occupy the opposite wing. The pair will have a huge challenge on their hand going up against Liverpool’s attack-minded full-backs.

N’Golo Kante, who only made an appearance from the bench in the midweek encounter, should feature from the kickoff on Sunday against Liverpool. The Frenchman should replace Mateo Kovacic as Jorginho’s partner in the middle of the park for Chelsea.

Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi should hold on to their spots in the wide-attacking midfield roles for the Blues on Sunday, ahead f the likes of Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic. With Werner still not fully recovered and Havertz also working his way back to full fitness, Romelu Lukaku should keep hold of his place in the starting XI, despite his recent comments expressing his displeasure with Tuchel.

Chelea Predicted XI: Mendy, Chalobah, Silva, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kante, Alonso, Mount, Hudson-Odoi, Lukaku.

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