Apr 27, 2014 at 2.05pm UK at ‚ÄčAnfield
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Ba (45'), Willian (90')
Salah (21'), Lampard (43')

How could Chelsea line up against Liverpool?

After Jose Mourinho hinted at selecting a weakened team against Liverpool on Sunday, Sports Mole takes a look at how Chelsea could line up at Anfield.

With their Champions League semi-final tie with Atletico Madrid in the balance and the club currently sitting five points off the Premier League summit with three games remaining, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has hinted that he could name a weakened lineup for his team's match with Liverpool on Sunday.

Mourinho has reportedly received the backing of owner Roman Abramovich and the remainder of the Chelsea hierarchy to effectively concede the Premier League title in order to rest a squad hit by injuries and suspension in Europe.

Below, Sports Mole considers who could be selected for the encounter on Merseyside if Mourinho decides to make wholesale changes, and which reserve players may be drafted onto the substitutes' bench if many of the club's stars are left in West London.


With Petr Cech ruled out for the season with a dislocated shoulder, it appears to be a certainty that second-choice stopper Mark Schwarzer won't be involved at Anfield.

That could see Portuguese veteran Henrique Hilario thrown in between the posts. The 38-year-old has made a total of 20 Premier League appearances for Chelsea, but the last of those came in August 2011.


With John Terry missing and David Luiz being required in midfield against Atletico, Mourinho could opt to rest his remaining four defenders to save them for the second leg with the Spanish side in midweek.

John Obi Mikel of Chelsea in action during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 second leg match between Chelsea and Sparta Praha at Stamford Bridge on February 21, 2013© Getty Images

With no experience to call upon, Mourinho could move John Obi Mikel into the back four to help the likes of Tomas Kalas, Andreas Christensen and Nathan Ake.

Kalas is a 20-year-old Czech Republic international who briefly appeared for the Blues at Arsenal in the Capital One Cup earlier this season, while Christensen has become a regular for Chelsea's Under-21 team since signing from Brondby.

Ake, an Under-21 international for the Netherlands, has regularly travelled with the first-team squad throughout this season, and the 19-year-old made six senior appearances for Chelsea last season.


While Chelsea are struggling for numbers at the back, they have a few more options in midfield. Nemanja Matic is unable to feature in Europe due to his previous involvement with Benfica, so the Serbian is a certain starter at Anfield.

The same can be said for Frank Lampard, who is suspended in midweek, while Marco van Ginkel, who has worked his way back to fitness after suffering a serious knee injury in September, could also feature from the start.

Chelsea's Marco Van Ginkel in action against Malaysia XI on July 21, 2013© Getty Images

Eighteen-year-old Lewis Baker may also find himself thrown into the limelight with a first-team start. Much will depend on how many alterations Mourinho decides to make, but the midfielder, who has six goals in 11 appearances for England Under-19s, could play instead of Andre Schurrle.


Mourinho could have all three of his senior strikers available for the trip to Merseyside, but with Samuel Eto'o having missed the trip to Spain in midweek with a knee injury, he could be saved for Wednesday night.

The same could be said of Fernando Torres, who played the full 90 minutes at the Vicente Calderon, so Demba Ba may be given another opportunity to add to the goals that he scored against Paris Saint-Germain and Swansea City respectively.

Mohamed Salah will also start due to his ineligibility in the Champions League after featuring for Basel before Christmas.


England Under-19 international Mitchell Beeney is likely to be the backup to Hilario, while Tanzanian full-back Adam Nditi could act as cover in defence.

Talented midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Scotland Under-21 striker Islam Feruz could also appear, with Mourinho potentially filling up the rest of the bench with a couple of established players.

Branislav Ivanovic was suspended for the trip to Madrid, while Oscar was an unused substitute. The final spot could potentially remain unfilled.

Chelsea's Frank Lampard celebrates scoring against Fenerbahce at Stamford Bridge on April 08, 2008.
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