Over the years, there is no doubt that these two sides have been among the most successful of the English teams.
Since the Premier League began in 1992, Chelsea have won 21 trophies (excluding Community Shield) while Liverpool have won 14 trophies including this season’s Premier League title.
So if you combine both team’s best players in that time frame into a single XI and pit them against each other in a one off game, what would happen? Who would be in the team? Who would be the managers? I’ve made the selections and and tried my best to break down what would happen.
Firstly I think the manager’s pick themselves. Jurgen Klopp is unquestionably the man in charge of the Liverpool side having led them to their first league title in 30 years. Along with that, back-to-back Champions League finals and a Club World Cup make him the most successful manager in recent times. For the Blues, Jose Mourinho is the obvious choice. The Portuguese boss won three Premier League titles, three League Cups and an FA Cup.
In goal, both keepers also select themselves. For Chelsea, Petr Cech is arguably the best in the competition’s history and constantly performed at the highest level on the biggest occasions while Allison has already out-performed Jerzy Dudek and Pepe Reina to be Liverpool’s best keeper in this era.
In defence, there is a mixture of past and present for Liverpool. Three of the current back four make it in, but former captain Sami Hyypia steps in for Joe Gomez to partner Virgil Van Dijk at the heart of the defence. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson didn’t have much competition in the full-back positions but club legend Jamie Carragher doesn’t quite make the cut. Mourinho’s XI won’t contain anyone from the current crop at the club, with Paulo Ferreira and Ashley Cole at full back alongside former captains John Terry and Marcel Desailly in the centre.
For Liverpool, the midfield was easy enough to pick. The collective trio of Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano was incredibly successful together and arguably not to win a league title of their own under Rafael Benitez. Gerrard had his best seasons alongside those two and despite Fabinho’s trophies with the club, it wasn’t enough to displace his fellow South American from the holding midfield role.
Chelsea’s midfield on the other hand was arguably the hardest thing to pick. They have had an array of talent in that area of the pitch over the years including Michael Ballack, Claude Makelele, Ngolo Kante, Gustavo Poyet and Jon Obi-Mikel but two options stood out moreso than others. Firstly, the current manager and the club’s all-time top goalscorer was a shoe-in. Frank Lampard obviously makes the cut and is partnered by ‘The Bison’ Michael Essien. The Ghanaian midfielder was exceptional for Chelsea with his aggression and stamina to get him around the pitch, while also being a great tackler and passer.
Ahead of them, it really is a fantasy for the Blues. On the wings, legendary Dutchman Arjen Robben and Eden Hazard cause all sorts of problems for Liverpool’s attacking full-backs and they’ll be partnered in attack by the ultimate little ‘n’ large combo. Gianfranco Zola will occupy the No.10 position, playing just behind their Munich hero Didier Drogba. Drogba beats out competition for the centre-forward role from the likes of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Diego Costa, Nicolas Anelka, Hernan Crespo and Gianluca Vialli..
Picking Liverpool’s attack was arguably the hardest thing about their team. They’ve had a crazy array of talent in attack over the years, including Fernando Torres, Michael Owen, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Stan Collymore and more. I settled on this front three due to the fact they have all been influential in their own eras as well as just being phenomenal footballers. On the left, I’ve opted for Luis Suarez. While he isn’t a winger, I simply couldn’t leave him out of the team. He has the capabilities to play there with his dribbling ability and creativity, but he showed his fantastic eye for goal during his time at the club and since. On the right, Mo Salah is a no brainer. His goals and assists are one of the main reasons behind the success of Jurgen Klopp’s tenure at the club and he is arguably the best signing in their Premier League history. Up front was tough, but I’ve gone with Robbie Fowler. The former England striker is nicknamed ‘God’ at Anfield for a reason. He scored all types of goals, had creativity for assists too and is another I just couldn’t bring myself to leave out. His longevity in the league helped me take him over Torres but it was a tough call.
In the game itself, the game would be won on the wings. Liverpool’s midfield three would overrun Chelsea’s duo of Lampard and Essien but a Klopp team focuses so much on the full-backs providing for the attack. If they can get forward as they usually do and deliver, Chelsea’s defence will have to be at its absolute best to deny Liverpool’s fearsome attack. Going the other way though, Robben and Hazard would have a lot of joy and their ability to cut in and score goals would add to Zola’s options in the hole. Chelsea’s side have got goals all the way through it, even down to John Terry at set-pieces.
It would be a fascinating tie and one that would likely be decided by the odd goal. Strangely enough, I don’t think either side would keep a clean sheet because of the qualities of the rest of the team but I think Chelsea’s added goal threats mean they’d take a 2-1 win.
Do you agree with the teams picked? Do you agree with the end result? Let me know