Michael Mongie wonders whether Marko Grujic could be what Liverpool needs in midfield to defeat Chelsea on Friday evening.
Liverpool effectively saw off Leicester City in an exciting 4-1 victory in the first game at Anfield since the stadium’s redevelopment. Roberto Firmino scored two with Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana both grabbing one themselves.
Up next is Chelsea. The boys in Blue have taken 10 points from a possible 12 in what has been a very impressive start for Antonio Conte. Although, to be fair, from their opening 4 games, 3 of their opponents have of lesser quality. Then again, Chelsea beat Burnley 3-0, whereas Liverpool lost 2-0.
Had Liverpool beaten the Clarets then they’d be level on points with Chelsea. If Klopp wants his team to have any chance of success this season then victory against the Burnleys of the league needs to be prioritised.
One reason why Liverpool struggles against teams like Burnley is because of the lack of space in behind them due to how deep they defend. Chelsea will be no different. Another reason is because of a lack of real strength in central midfield for the Reds.
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A solution to the latter issue could be to introduce Marko Grujic to the Premier League against Chelsea. It may something of a brazen move, but it might be what Liverpool needs to grab victory over a strong and well-drilled Chelsea side.
The Serbian midfielder will be able to compete with the likes of Nemanja Matic in central midfield. Liverpool’s midfield of Henderson, Wijnaldum and Lallana, while highly energetic, doesn’t have the power to compete with Chelsea attackers.
As Leroy Fer showed by catching Gary Cahill unawares on the ball, Chelsea can be prone to succumbing to a high press. And when it’s Sadio Mane snapping at his heels, the cracks will begin to show. But can the Reds win the midfield battle?
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