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Jul 22, 2020 at 8.15pm UK
Keita (23'), Alexander-Arnold (38'), Wijnaldum (43'), Firmino (55'), Oxlade-Chamberlain (84')
Gomez (83')
FT(HT: 3-1)
Giroud (45+3'), Abraham (61'), Pulisic (73')

Combined XI: Liverpool vs. Chelsea

:Headline: Combined XI: Liverpool vs. Chelsea:
Ahead of Wednesday's Premier League clash between champions Liverpool and Champions League-chasing Chelsea, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from the two squads.

Liverpool welcome rivals Chelsea to Anfield on Wednesday night on what could be a celebratory occasion for both teams.

The hosts will finally get their hands on the Premier League trophy after the game, having wrapped up a first top-flight title in 30 years with seven games to spare courtesy of a little help from Chelsea along the way too.

The visitors, meanwhile, know that victory would guarantee them a place in the Champions League next season with a game to spare, although they face a Liverpool side unbeaten in their last 58 league outings at Anfield.

Here, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI, using only players available for Wednesday's showdown.

Liverpool have not been in the best form of late - certainly compared to the rest of their incredible season - but the 30-point gap between these two sides in the table cannot be ignored when selecting this XI.

It is therefore no surprise to see the Merseysiders dominate the team, and the tone is set in goal where Alisson Becker is a simple choice ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga - the man who succeeded him as the world's most expensive keeper.

Alisson has been forced into more saves than Kepa this term - 55 to 53 - but has conceded fewer than half as many goals, with the Brazilian letting just 19 past him in 27 appearances while Kepa has shipped 42 in 32 outings.

A quick glance at the goals against column also tells you everything you need to know about the four in front of the keeper, with Liverpool as a team boasting the best defensive record in the division whereas Chelsea have the worst defensive record in the top half.

Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta was under serious consideration for a place in a back three, but there was never any doubt about the Liverpool quartet of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson being included.

The only Chelsea representative in this XI comes in midfield, where Mateo Kovacic has enjoyed a standout campaign for the Blues.

Frank Lampard has plenty of strength in depth in that area of the field, but N'Golo Kante is expected to miss the match and, in truth, it was only an injury to Jordan Henderson which prevented it from being a full house for Liverpool.

Fabinho has established himself as arguably the best holding midfielder in the league this season, while Georginio Wijnaldum has been another important member of their record-breaking and title-winning team to hold off competition from the likes of Mason Mount and Ross Barkley.

It is in attack where Chelsea may feel most aggrieved to not have players included; Christian Pulisic and Willian have both been in fine form of late, while Olivier Giroud's recent flurry of goals saw him emerge as a real contender to beat a misfiring Roberto Firmino to the centre-forward role.

However, Firmino offers so much more than goals to the team and those Chelsea forwards have the misfortune of being compared to one of the world's best attacking units in this instance, with Sadio Mane and former Blue Mohamed Salah completing the selection. body check tags ::

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