Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has explained why he has gone with Mateo Kovacic over Ruben Loftus-Cheek for today’s clash with Liverpool.
Loftus-Cheek started last week’s win over Brighton, Chelsea’s first game of the season, but he was surprisingly dropped from the squad today’s big clash with reigning champions Liverpool.
Kovacic takes his place in the Blues starting XI, and Lampard explained the decision while speaking on Sky Sports ahead of kick-off.
“It’s a change, a change from my point-of-view,” he said. “Different games bring different problems.
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“With Kovacic, he gives you some presence in midfield, we want to play, we want to get on the ball. Against Brighton, it was tough for us to do that for different reasons.”
Speaking about the prospect of facing Liverpool, Lampard added: “We spent a lot of time a long way behind Liverpool last year, as most of us did. It was a lot of points. For me now, we’re on level points with them. We competed very well with them last year in every game we played.
“We’ll have a few conversations in the dressing room about what it might look like, but they’ve got top quality players throughout their team that have won everything.
“Fabinho has played centre-back for them before, he knows that role. It means they have more quality in midfield, whoever they bring in can perform those roles.
“Maybe. Early season and the fact that we’re all striving for fitness because of the recent situation and the lack of pre-season. We need to keep the ball and move the ball well to give us moments of rest in the game.”