Chelsea - Liverpool combined XI | Virgin Media
Chelsea - Liverpool combined XI

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Chelsea and Liverpool meet at Stamford Bridge for the second Friday evening game of the season.

In charge of the respective sides are Antonio Conte and Jurgen Klopp - two of the more passionate and eccentric managers currently plying their trade across European football.

The former has started well, unbeaten after four games, winning three of those and collecting a point last time out against Swansea.

Whereas for Klopp, beginning his first full season as Reds boss after taking over from Brendan Rodgers last October, it has been a mixed bag.

Liverpool began well, a 4-3 win over Arsenal at the Emirates, before crashing down to earth at Burnley losing 2-0 to Sean Dyche's men.

However, last time out, they produced one of the performances of the season so far, dispatching reigning Premier League champions Leicester City in front the biggest home attendance at Anfield for years.

But, of all the world-class talent expected to feature tonight, who makes a combined XI based on form and fitness.


Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea)

Going head-to-head are two Belgian 'keepers and unsurprisingly the national team's number one comes out on top. 

Courtois has featured in all four of Chelsea's league matches to date, keeping one clean sheet, but more importantly shown signs of his former self returning.

Right-back: Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool)

Clyne might have lost his place in the England squad but there is no doubt he is the undisputed first choice right-back at Liverpool, creating six chances in four matches heading into Stamford Bridge. 

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Centre-back: Joel Matip (Liverpool)

One of six players to join the Reds this summer Matip, who arrived from Schalke 04, has taken to life in England like a duck to water - winning 56% of his duels in the Premier League.

Centre-back: Dejan Lovren (Liverpool)

Lovren had to sit out Liverpool's impressive win over Leicester with an eye injury but has continued from where he left off last season, holding an impressive 87% pass accuracy. 

Left-back: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

The multifunctional Spaniard, nominally a right-back, has made the left flank his own in recent years and been integral to Chelsea as an attacking force as well as ensuring their defence is one of the meanest in the league.

Defensive midfield: N'Golo Kante (Chelsea)

Renowned for his intense reclaiming of possession, whether through intercepting or a well-timed challenge, Kante embodies all the traits his manager Conte looks for in his midfielders.

Central midfield: Nemanja Matic (Chelsea)

For a while it seemed the Serbian midfielder, masterful when it comes to distribution and reading off the game, was going to leave the Bridge for a second time but under Conte he's enjoying his football once again.

Right-wing: Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

A goal on his debut against Arsenal was no better way to introduce himself to the Liverpool faithful. In a short space of time he's quickly established himself as un-droppable especially after his display against Leicester. 

Attacking midfielder: Adam Lallana (Liverpool)

One player who has thrived since the arrival of Klopp is Lallana as across 47 matches played under the German tactician, he's scored seven goals whilst creating a further eight for his teammates.

How would you fit Sturridge in? Create your Liverpool XI with the Virgin Media Lineup Builder!

 

Left-wing: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

The mercurial Belgian forward has made up for a largely forgettable season last time out creating 10 chances whilst scoring two goals in four appearances.

Striker: Diego Costa (Chelsea)

Combative and controversial, the Spain international is Chelsea's leading Premier League goal scorer with four, compared to the 12 in 28 matches he managed in the disappointing 2015/16.

 

This XI was complied by Mohamed Moallim from Squawka.