Leagues

Chelsea FC team news: Potential changes to starting line-up against Liverpool

Chelsea have just a two-day turnaround for their Premier League match against Liverpool following a 5,000 mile round-trip to Azerbaijan where they beat Quarabag 4-0.

The length of the journey and lack of recovery time should require the Blues to make some changes to the starting line-up for Saturday’s late kick-off at Anfield, which is live on talkSPORT at 17:30.

Starting XI v Quarabag: Courtois, Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Rudiger, Zappacosta, Fabregas, Kante (Drinkwater, 75mins), Alonso (Cahill, 58mins), Willian, Pedro, Hazard (Morata, 65 mins)

talkSPORT looks at who could be brought in.

Almost certain to return to the starting side is Alvaro Morata who played just 25 minutes on Wednesday having begun as a substitute. Morata has scored eight league goals this season and will be hoping to add to his tally against a Liverpool defence that remains unconvincing. Eden Hazard started up front against Qarabag and could return to either a wide position or just behind the striker, so expect Pedro or Willian to drop to the bench.

Liverpool lead the league in shots per game this season so Tiemoue Bakayoko could come into the side to counter their free-scoring attacking play. Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has often chosen to play all three of N'Golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas and Bakayoko this season, so bringing in the Frenchman looks a certainty after he didn’t feature in Baku.

Conte could opt to rotate his centre-backs after all three played the full 90 minutes against Qarabag. Gary Cahill and Andreas Christensen are both candidates to come in to the back three if Conte feels like any one of David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger or Cescar Azpilicueta are not fully recovered by Saturday. Davide Zappacosta could also drop to the bench if his manager chooses to move Azpilicueta to right wing-back.

Chelsea’s busy schedule could see Danny Drinkwater being given his first Premier League start for Chelsea. Fabregas, Bakayoko and Kante have all played a lot of minutes already this season so the manager might want to give one of them a full rest in the lead-up to the busy Christmas period.

Stream Liverpool v Chelsea at 17:30 (GMT) on Saturday 25 November here.

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