Report: £80m Chelsea star could make his first start of the Premier League season vs. Liverpool tonight

The midfield battle is where Liverpool versus Chelsea will be won or lost and the London Evening Standard reports that N’Golo Kante could start at Anfield tonight.

The Frenchman is undeniably world-class and after an incredible start to 2021, is in the conversation to win the Balon d’Or and while I believe Lionel Messi is the favourite, Kante should be on the podium.

Looking a little closer to the present, the diminutive midfielder is in contention to make his first start of the Premier League season after being handed an 18-minute cameo against Arsenal last week.

Chelsea lined up against the Gunners with a midfield four of Marcos Alonso, Matteo Kovacic, Jorginho and Reece James which had enough composure, energy and class to see off a poor Mikel Arteta side.

However, Liverpool are a different beast and while the Reds are essentially the same side they were in 2020 with Thiago and Diogo Jota added, Thomas Tuchel will be wary and starting Kante might be a smart move.

It’s easy to look at the front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Jota/Firmino and forget about the rest of the Liverpool team but if you can stop Jurgen Klopp’s fullbacks and his industrious midfield, you can deprive the front three.

Tuchel’s system is the best for stopping a 4-3-3 as he has shown on several occasions against Manchester City and after beating Liverpool 1-0 last season, he’ll be looking to make it a repeat result.

Kante could be key to getting another win at Anfield but this time in front of fans.

The Evening Standard reports that Kante, who Chelsea have valued at £80m in the past, as per the Mirror, could start his first game of the Premier League season tonight against Liverpool.

Assuming he does come in, Tuchel could bring him in for Kovacic and leave the rest of his team untouched which would allow the Blues to operate with the same attacking fluidity they did against Arsenal while their ability to counter-press would increase with the Frenchman on the pitch.

Liverpool will be hoping to see Kante on the pitch even if he is yet to get back into the rhythm of playing regularly.

He’s arguably the best in the world at what he does and in these types of games – especially so early in the season – the midfield battle is where the game is won or lost.

KIRKBY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 17: (THE SUN OUT. THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Andy Robertson of Liverpool during a training session at AXA Training Centre on August 17, 2021 in Kirkby, England. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
KIRKBY, ENGLAND – AUGUST 17: (THE SUN OUT. THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Andy Robertson of Liverpool during a training session at AXA Training Centre on August 17, 2021 in Kirkby, England. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool should have Andy Robertson back from the ankle injury that saw him miss the opening two games of the Premier League season.

The Reds beat Norwich City and Burnley comfortably without him and while Kostas Tsimikas covered himself in glory during his two starts, Klopp looks set to restore him to the starting lineup this evening.

Fabinho should return to the side following the tragic passing of his father after which he was given leave to grieve with his family which saw him miss the win over Sean Dyche’s men.

We would just like to take the chance now to offer our prayers and condolences to the Tavares family. We know the fans at Anfield will give Fab an incredible reception this evening.

Rest in peace, João Roberto Tavares. You’ll Never Walk Alone.

Michael Mongie
Football Central Media Group founder, owner and editor.

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