Food For Thought: Is This Chelsea Star Ready To Face Liverpool Tonight?


Towards the end of the summer transfer window, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was really concerned with the club’s lack of defensive strength in numbers. This made the club act decisively by bringing in David Luiz and Marcos Alonso on deadline day. The weekend’s game against Swansea was disappointing for the blues in a number of aspects – refereeing decisions, losing the 100% record, and losing John Terry for up to 10 days with an ankle injury; suffered in the final minutes of the game.

The news only gets worse as Liverpool are the next opponents, and Conte will be without his captain for his first big test. Same logic would suggest that Conte is likely to keep the 4-3-3 formation for the game against Liverpool rather than reverting to his favourite 3-5-2 system. John Terry was seen as one of the primary reasons for Conte not adopting this system at Chelsea. The availability of David Luiz and Alonso, though, changes the dynamics significantly.

Alonso has arrived at the Stamford Bridge and that has questioned Ivanovic’s spot in the first team.  The Serbian international was very sloppy last season and many reports suggested that he was on the verge to leave the side, but nothing materialised. With that being said, it is expected that the manager will now be using Azpilicueta on the right, while the former Fiorentina man will be getting his natural role.

Well, there is a great possibility of Alonso making his first start for the club in such a high-profile game. The big question, though, is if the Spaniard is ready to face Liverpool?

Fiorentina's Alonso shoots a ball during their Italian Serie A soccer match against Napoli in Naples

Incidentally, Alonso’s first league match in English football was against Liverpool when he was playing for Bolton. The match ended in a 2-1 loss, but Alonso has a much bigger possibility of winning this time around. Chelsea are getting stronger with every game and Diego Costa is in great form. Liverpool do come on the back of a 4-1 resounding victory over champions Leicester City, but they have been highly inconsistent this season.

If Alonso is to play, he would come up against Sadio Mane. The former Southampton winger has already been one of Liverpool’s best players this season by scoring two and assisting one in his three league appearances. Conte would not want to risk a debutant against a player in such a good form. Continuing with Azpilicueta at left back may seem like the best option this weekend. Besides that, Ivanovic can offer a much physical approach in game than Alonso, hence, we personally believe that the manager might stick with his old school full backs as the game is an important one.

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