Chelsea are in something of a fullback crisis as both Reece Jones (hamstring) and Ben Chilwell (knee) are unavailable for the Blues, and it’s widely believed that manager Thomas Tuchel will continue with a back three system.
Diogo Jota is a big fan of facing this tactical structure, and thinks his Liverpool side are well-suited to this challenge.
Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com, the striker said that Tuchel’s choices will directly impact what the Reds can do, but that “Chelsea, we are not 100 per cent [sure how they will play] because we can never be that, but we know they’re going to play with three. So it’s up to us to know the spaces they leave and try to take advantage.”
With the uncertain situation around injury and COVID-19 muddying the waters ahead of the top-three clash on Sunday, Jota’s confidence will come as a positive distraction from the uncertainty in the mix.
While he understands the challenge Chelsea pose, he looks forward to the importance of the clash.
“We know it’s Chelsea away. We drew with them at home, we know it’s not going to be easy. We both want to close that gap but we know at least one of us is going to be even further back. So, it’s a great game, a big game. We need to be at our best – I know if we do that we are able to win the game there.”
“They have their injuries, but we have had ours as well, we have had our COVID cases as well, like theirs. Whoever is going to be on the pitch, 11 against 11, it will be very tough for everyone involved and a very intense game. It will be a proper Premier League game. We want to start the year well and the only way is to win the game at Stamford Bridge.”
This mentality is exactly what’s needed ahead of a match with serious title implications.