To challenge for the title, you don’t just need a good starting XI but a good bench that can always fill in when necessary.
Chelsea great Pat Nevin believes Chelsea have plenty of players that can change the game from the bench, something which Liverpool lacks.
“Antonio will once again get the side prepared and I suspect he will have known what his team for tonight was going to be even before the Brentford match,” Nevin wrote in his Chelsea official website column.
“A few players didn’t do their causes any harm in the cup tie, but it is a big call to radically or even slightly change the side that has put together the current exceptional run of games, with only that annoying Spurs blip in the middle of course. Nathan Ake wouldn’t weaken the side, Ruben Loftus Cheek continues to show signs that he could be huge for the club. Cesc is pure class as ever, and who will get the nod between Willian or Pedro, as they both look on fire at the moment. The joy is that not only are there options, but there are plenty of players that can materially change the game from the bench.
“Right now that has been one of the problems for tonight’s opponents. Their bench has looked rather callow at times lately and that is not perfect when you get towards the business end of the season. In fact, that is one of the main reasons for their recent cup defeats. If. However, they do manage to get Sturridge, Mane, Coutinho and Firmino fully fit, on their best form and working together then you have to take them seriously as contenders. The problem is that when they are not 100 per cent, the back-up is good but it is not great and in this league you have to be very special in every area to win it, including the bench.”