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Combined XI: Chelsea vs Liverpool

Ahead of Sunday's Premier League showdown between Chelsea and Liverpool, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from the two squads.

Chelsea and Liverpool lock horns once again at Stamford Bridge on Sunday with both looking to respond after disappointing defeats in midweek.

The Reds have won five from five in the Premier League this season but they opened their defence of the Champions League title with a 2-0 defeat against Carlo Ancelotti's Napoli.

Meanwhile Chelsea, who have been an exhilarating watch this season with plenty of goals at both ends in all of their games, fell 1-0 to Spanish side Valencia in their return to Europe's premier club competition.

Domestically speaking, Jurgen Klopp's charges have lost just once in their last 44 league games and they will be hoping to extend that run in their 183rd competitive meeting with the Blues.

Once again, some of the top flight's best players will be in action. With that in mind, Sports Mole has selected the best XI from both squads, using only players available for the clash.

Combined XI: CHE vs. LIV

One of Chelsea's biggest problems under Frank Lampard has been their lack of defensive organisation, with the club conceding 11 times in their first five league games. In spite of that statistic, Kepa Arrizabalaga has not had a bad start to the season and he gets the nod over Adrian, who, while providing an able replacement for Alisson in the Liverpool net, always looks capable of a mistake.

Those defensive woes mean that the back four essentially picks itself, with Liverpool taking all four slots. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson are attacking full-backs of the highest quality and they have shown far more organisation than Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta this season, while the Virgil van Dijk-Joel Matip partnership provides a lot more presence and solidity than any combination involving Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori.

French World Cup winner N'Golo Kante is set to return for the Blues this weekend and when fit and playing in his natural position, the former Leicester City midfielder remains one of the world's very best at covering ground, disrupting play and allowing his side to build and push forward.

Picking the two men to partner him is quite difficult, as the likes of Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount all offer differing things. However, Jorginho's passing range and ability to set the tempo and Fabinho's calm demeanour and workrate set them apart.

Liverpool's front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino were masterful last season and played a vital role in the Reds' assault on both the Premier League and Champions League. All three have started this season strongly, Mane and Firmino especially so, and therefore they edge out Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic.

Abraham has begun to fire in the goals but he also had disappointing performances against Manchester United and in their European Super Cup meeting with Liverpool, while Pulisic is yet to have the impact on the league many expected following his arrival from Borussia Dortmund.

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Who will win Sunday's Premier League clash between Chelsea and Liverpool?

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Mason Mount in action for Chelsea on August 31, 2019
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