Chelsea vs Liverpool: Picking a Combined XI Ahead of Sunday's Premier League Clash

Nischal Schwager-Patel
Liverpool and Chelsea in action at the end of last season.
Liverpool and Chelsea in action at the end of last season. / Pool/Getty Images

The defending champions face off against their potential challengers on Sunday, as Chelsea and Liverpool battle it out at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues and the Reds met on four occasions across three competitions last season, with the former’s sole win coming in the FA Cup six months ago.

Ahead of Sunday’s blockbluster clash in west London, here is 90min’s combined XI of the available players from Chelsea and Liverpool.

Alisson (GK)

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson.
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson. / PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

There is little competition for the number one spot here, which is happily taken by Alisson. That being said, the opening day performance against Leeds was not his finest, conceding three goals to the newly promoted Whites.

Nevertheless, the Brazilian remains the best goalkeeper in the Premier League. He will be looking to build on his 13 clean sheets from the previous campaign and recapturing the Golden Glove award after winning it in his debut season.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB)

Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold (left).
Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold (left). / Pool/Getty Images

César Azpilicueta and Reece James are solid choices for Chelsea, but Alexander-Arnold is the natural choice at right-back.

The best in the world in his position, Alexander-Arnold has truly established himself in the top flight, continuing to improve with every game in red. He will be keen to add to his four major trophies with the club in what will be a massive season for Jürgen Klopp’s men.

Virgil van Dijk (CB)

Virgil van Dijk after scoring against Leeds.
Virgil van Dijk after scoring against Leeds. / PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Another player who did not cover himself in glory in the season opener but is still one of the best in the world, Van Dijk walks into any defence.

The Dutchman played every game of Liverpool’s Premier League triumph, and his battle with Chelsea’s extravagant attack will be fascinating to watch as he looks to keep the likes of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz quiet.

Kurt Zouma (CB)

Chelsea's Kurt Zouma.
Chelsea's Kurt Zouma. / Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

With Van Dijk the clear first choice at the heart of defence, who partners up with him? The options in blue and red all have a fair claim, but it is Zouma who gets the nod to slip into the combined XI.

Thiago Silva would be the perfect partner, but he is still working up his fitness and misses out. Yet Zouma has proven himself as one of the Blues’ standout defenders in recent months and deserves his spot in this team.

Andy Robertson (LB)

Liverpool full-back Andy Robertson.
Liverpool full-back Andy Robertson. / Pool/Getty Images

Robertson has come into his element in the last few years, breezing into the combined defence at left-back. The Scotsman has started the new campaign well, getting the assist for Van Dijk’s bullet header at Anfield.

Last season was arguably his best on Merseyside, with his 12 league assists the second-best return in the Liverpool squad - only bettered by full-back compatriot Alexander-Arnold.

N’Golo Kanté (DM)

N’Golo Kanté in action for Chelsea.
N’Golo Kanté in action for Chelsea. / Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Last season was challenging to say the least for Kanté, but he's still one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.

He had an outstanding game against Brighton and proved he is back to his best, having recovered from his build-up of injuries last year. The 29-year-old will be eager to find the back of the net again on Sunday, after scoring a superb goal against Liverpool in the same fixture 12 months ago at the Bridge.

Fabinho (DM)

Liverpool midfielder Fabinho.
Liverpool midfielder Fabinho. / Pool/Getty Images

Fabinho partners up with Kanté in defensive midfield, earning his spot ahead of teammate Jordan Henderson and Blues opponent Mateo Kovačić.

The Brazilian made 39 appearances last season, and will surely have another pivotal role to play as the Reds look to retain their league title. Whether the arrival of Thiago will affect him is uncertain, but Fabinho will remain an integral part of Klopp's setup.

Kai Havertz (AM)

Kai Havertz on his Chelsea debut.
Kai Havertz on his Chelsea debut. / Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

There is little disputing who completes the midfield trio, with new Blues signing Havertz entering the fold. The German had a stunning season with Bayer Leverkusen, scoring 18 goals and setting up a further nine.

Havertz made his long-awaited debut under Frank Lampard on the opening day, and his first game at Stamford Bridge will be one to savour, as he looks to make a statement at his new home against the runaway champions.

Mohamed Salah (RW)

Mohamed Salah completing his Liverpool hat-trick.
Mohamed Salah completing his Liverpool hat-trick. / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The former Chelsea man now stealing the show at Liverpool, Salah returns to his old stomping ground in the best possible form. He opened his account for the season in style, scoring a hat-trick in the Reds’ 4-3 win over Leeds last week.

Timo Werner (FW)

Timo Werner in action for Chelsea.
Timo Werner in action for Chelsea. / GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

On the verge of signing for Liverpool before opting for London over Merseyside, there is no better team for Werner to make his home debut against.

The German scored on his non-competitive debut at Brighton, and had a decent game in his official first game against the same opposition.

Sadio Mané (LW)

Liverpool's Sadio Mané.
Liverpool's Sadio Mané. / Pool/Getty Images

Mané makes up the final third of the attacking trio. The Senegalese scored 22 goals and added 12 assists in red last season, earning him a spot in the PFA Team of the Year.

His pace and skill going forward is unmatched in the top flight, a prized part of the Reds’ magnificent attack. Ahead of the crucial clash on Sunday, Mané will need to hit the ground running if Liverpool want to leave Stamford Bridge with all three points.

For more from Nischal Schwager-Patel, follow him on Twitter here!