A key tactical battle in Saturday’s massive Premier League clash at Anfield between Liverpool and Chelsea (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com) will be Liverpool’s defense vs. Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard.
In recent games Antonio Conte has decided to play Hazard in a central role just off Morata and it has worked wonders.
The duo are on the same wavelength and last time out in the Premier League they each had an assist for one another with Hazard scoring twice and Morata once.
Liverpool’s recent shaky defensive displays (ahem, the second half collapse to draw at Sevilla in midweek after leading 3-0 at half time…) aren’t anything new but Jurgen Klopp has been slightly more defensive in bigger games this season. See: the 0-0 draw with Manchester United at home last month.
Could Klopp deploy a true holding midfielder to block the burgeoning partnership between Morata and Hazard?
In the video above Joe Prince-Wright uses data from Opta to discuss why that might be a good idea.