Liverpool vs Chelsea: Three key players to look out for

The Hard Tackle lists three players who can make a positive impact when Liverpool and Chelsea lock horns at Anfield on Wednesday.

Liverpool and Chelsea are playing well right now, with both clubs among the most in-form teams in England right now. The two Premier League heavyweights will clash at Anfield on Wednesday night, with three points being as good as goldust for them.

Liverpool will be raring to go in the remaining months of the 2023/24 season after Jurgen Klopp announced his impending departure from Anfield. With their legendary manager leaving soon, the Reds will be eager to give him the send-off he deserves by winning every trophy this term. So, big games like the one on Wednesday will hold the key for the Merseyside club.

Speaking of Liverpool’s opponents on Wednesday, Chelsea’s form has seen an upturn in the last few weeks. The Blues have lost only one of their last seven games across all competitions, reaching the EFL Cup final while closing the gap to the top four in the Premier League.

Liverpool and Chelsea have vastly different objectives in the Premier League. But match-ups between these two teams are often too close for comfort. So, as we gear up for a blockbuster clash on Wednesday, The Hard Tackle picks three players who can singlehandedly tip the scales in their teams’ favour.

Cole Palmer

Such lists often have an attack-minded look to them. While things will take a different turn as we progress, we have started with an attacker. We kick things off with Cole Palmer, Chelsea’s talismanic summer signing.

The young Englishman had a lot of scepticism surrounding him when Chelsea shelled out the big bucks to sign him from Manchester City. He was still an unproven quantity, especially in the Premier League. So, questions surrounding Palmer did have a semblance of validity.

But the 21-year-old has been emphatic in his response to his naysayers, stamping his authority as the most reliable Chelsea attacker. He has contributed to 20 goals thus far this term in 27 outings, finding the back of the net 13 times while providing seven assists.

Palmer tends to reserve his best for the “big games” and has made his mark against his former club, Manchester City. So, the English international will be the go-to man for Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino against Liverpool on Wednesday.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Will Alexander-Arnold deliver the goods? (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The offensive-looking approach to this list ends for today, and the next two picks are defenders. We start with a player who will likely contribute more in the final third than at the back, even though he is a defender by profession. We are talking about Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The Reds have not felt the absence of the English international in the last few weeks, with Conor Bradley stepping up well, ably filling his shoes. But Alexander-Arnold is on another level altogether and will bring more to the table than what Bradley offered.

While Ibrahima Konate will have to mask his defensive deficiencies, Alexander-Arnold will be a force to reckon with in the final third. His set-piece prowess will give Liverpool an additional point of threat, particularly during free-kick routines. So, it is no wonder that he is the priority target for Real Madrid for the summer transfer window.

Most importantly, the 25-year-old will boost the creative numbers for Liverpool against Chelsea on Wednesday. So, the Real Madrid target’s return could not have come at a better time for the home side.

Thiago Silva

We continue and finish our list with another defender. And as is always the case in such features, we have picked a second player from Chelsea, who will have the lower odds to come out on top on Wednesday. Our final pick is Thiago Silva.

The veteran Brazilian defender has often been the best defensive outlet for Chelsea despite his advancing years. He has been an exceptional signing for the West London club since arriving from Paris Saint-Germain a few years ago, even though the Blues have struggled for relevance since last season.

While Mohamed Salah is on the sidelines, Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota have been excellent in the last few weeks. So, Silva needs to use all his experience to marshall the rest of the backline and keep the dangerous Liverpool attackers quiet. Failure to do so will leave the away side with a Herculean effort to get something from the game.

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