Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah will run into his one real weakness vs Chelsea today. The Reds must find a way to adapt.
Mohamed Salah is certainly the standout player for Liverpool this season – he’s been absolutely remarkable. The Egyptian leads the Premier League in both goals and assists, after all.
He’s consistently produced magic in Red, winning games almost on his own with world-class performances. And yet, we have seen him struggle quite badly at times.
The most recent struggles came against Tottenham Hotspur. Salah just wasn’t in the game and Liverpool couldn’t properly get going as a result. That actually followed a pattern, however – Spurs played a back three.
That repeated a trick that Wolves had also tried, with similar results. Both teams are known for their back threes or fives and Salah clearly struggles against them.
It’s easy to see why. The full-back or wing-back has an immediate covering centre-back very close to him, meaning Salah can’t isolate him as well. If they also bring a covering midfielder across, teams can swarm the Liverpool man.
And it’s something Liverpool will have to watch against Chelsea.
Salah may struggle in Chelsea vs Liverpool
Thomas Tuchel also uses a back three or five with Chelsea. It’s likely how he’ll lineup later today, though their injuries could see changes – Tuchel may lack the players for his natural formation.
But we imagine they’ll look to play that same system and, as a result, Salah may struggle. At the very least, Chelsea will swarm the Liverpool star as other teams have and he’ll have to find a way around that.
The Reds really need to adapt, then. The easiest way to do that is to stretch play and try to move that Chelsea defence across the pitch. They can’t swarm both Salah and Sadio Mane without leaving gaps in the middle, after all.
We’d like to see more movement across the pitch today. It will be difficult without Thiago pulling the strings but that surely has to be the game plan at Stamford Bridge.
If Liverpool don’t find new ways to create that space, it could be history repeating itself vs Chelsea.