Thomas Tuchel is relishing the battle between Romelu Lukaku and Virgil van Dijk when Chelsea travel to Liverpool on Saturday.
Both sides have made perfect starts to the Premier League season with two wins from two, scoring five goals without reply.
Lukaku, who rejoined Chelsea in a club-record deal this month, marked his second debut with a goal in last weekend’s win over Arsenal.
The Belgium international is set to line up against Liverpool’s defensive anchor Van Dijk in what promises to be an intriguing duel at Anfield.
Blues head coach Tuchel is confident the striker will rise to the occasion when he comes up against the Dutchman, whose return from injury he feels has provided the Reds with a huge boost since Chelsea’s 1-0 win when the sides met in March.
“I am looking forward to it; I think many fans of football are looking forward to that battle,” he said.
“For Romelu, it is a big challenge. He had a very good start, so now we are into details, connecting better and better.
“The stress is on tomorrow at Anfield, but we knew we were getting a big and experienced player. He loves these kinds of matches.
“Liverpool with Van Dijk is different. It is not only his isolated capacity and ability; he also makes everybody around him feel more comfortable and stronger. They have a huge upgrade from last March.”
Tuchel also praised counterpart Jurgen Klopp and the former Paris Saint-Germain boss is anticipating a special atmosphere on Merseyside.
“He has my full respect; he is one of the best managers in the world,” the Blues boss added.
“He has the ability to make huge footprints and impact at any club. We need to be careful when he talks too good about you!
“We’re super happy that the fans are back. We have to cope with energy that Anfield can create.
“The challenge is on and we’re excited to be in the middle of it.”
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