COMMENT By Dominic Toner
Daniel Sturridge, Willian and John Terry would be among the casualties of a starting line-up comprised of the best Liverpool and Chelsea players.
Liverpool travel to Stamford Bridge on Friday night for the Premier League showdown in the latest instalment of the very modern rivalry between the two big hitters.
Forward Sturridge would not be named in the strongest possible XI, with in-form Spaniard Diego Costa getting the nod in attack.
The Englishman has been restricted to just four appearances this season under Jurgen Klopp and is yet to open his account in the league.
Sturridge does boast an incredible record of 56 goals in just 96 appearances since moving to Anfield from Chelsea in 2013. However the forward is yet to rediscover his top form recently and also only registered 13 goals last season after a spate of injuries.
In comparison, Costa has already notched up four goals this season, including a stunning brace against Swansea on Sunday.
Chelsea’s goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois would get the nod of Liverpool’s goalkeeper options, with Simon Mignolet still very much error-prone and Loris Karius yet to be tested following his injury.
The energy and attacking mentality of Clyne gives him the slight edge over the more experienced Branislav Ivanovic, with the full-back already registering two assists this season in comparison to the Chelsea defender’s zero.
Gary Cahill and Dejan Lovren would be the preferred options at centre-back and have the advantage over John Terry, Joel Matip, Mamadou Sakho, Ragnar Klavan and David Luiz.
Liverpool’s left-back crisis has been well documented and James Milner has been forced to fill in ahead of Alberto Moreno, meaning the reliable Cesar Azpilicueta is a clear choice.
The decision to have two holding midfielders in Emre Can and N’Golo Kante would allow both the full-backs to join in with the attack.
Reds midfielder Can is the unsung member of the club’s midfield and his absence through injury has seen the team ship seven goals already this season, whilst Kante earned a PFA Player of the Year nominee last season after helping Leicester lift the Premier League title.
The attacking trio of Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Eden Hazard would provide any defensive unit with nightmares.
Between them they have already scored seven league goals in the opening four matches and would be highly dangerous behind target man Costa.
In other Liverpool news, stats have revealed one area in which the club top the Premier League pile ahead of Manchester City.