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Combined XI: Chelsea vs. Liverpool

Ahead of Tuesday's FA Cup fifth-round tie between Chelsea and Liverpool, Sports Mole picks a combined XI from both squads.

Chelsea and Liverpool square off in the FA Cup fifth round on Tuesday night as both teams look to improve after poor performances at the weekend.

The Blues, on the back of a demoralising defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, required a double from Marcos Alonso to earn a 2-2 draw at relegation-threatened Bournemouth.

Later on Saturday, Liverpool's 44-match unbeaten run in the Premier League came to an end as they suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Watford at Vicarage Road.

While Frank Lampard and Jurgen Klopp are expected to make changes for the showdown at Stamford Bridge, both teams will be eager to progress further in the competition.

Here, Sports Mole selects a combined XI, using only the players who are expected to be available for the midweek clash.



Combined XI: CHE vs. LIV

Despite conceding five goals in his last two outings, Alisson Becker is the obvious choice between the sticks, with neither Willy Caballero nor Kepa Arrizabalaga finding any consistency for the Blues.

Although Reece James has enjoyed a solid period with Chelsea, Trent Alexander-Arnold gets the nod with us, and the England international is inevitably joined in defence by Liverpool teammate Virgil van Dijk.

However, with Joe Gomez potentially being on the sidelines on Tuesday, we are partnering Van Dijk with Kurt Zouma, despite the Frenchman having only been provided with two opportunities since January 25.

While Andrew Robertson would be most people's selection at left-back, the recent goalscoring form of Alonso cannot be ignored, and the Spaniard is preferred here having scored goals in his last three halves of Premier League football.

Regardless of Jordan Henderson's absence through injury, the rest of the starting lineup can only be made up of Liverpool players, with Fabinho taking on the holding-midfielder's role.

That would allow Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain and Georginho Wijnaldum to be involved further forward, rather than Mateo Kovacic being deployed in a two-man partnership with the Brazilian.

The only Chelsea attacker who may have been able to stake a claim for the front three is Tammy Abraham, but the Blues frontman is currently sidelined with an ankle problem.

That leaves Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino to feature in the final third, despite their rare off-day against the Hornets.

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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool29271166214582
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
4Chelsea29146951391248
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
9Arsenal2891364036440
10Burnley29116123440-639
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
12Everton29107123746-937
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
14Southampton29104153552-1734
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
17Watford2969142744-1727
18Bournemouth2976162947-1827
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721

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