With seven goals to his credit in just five games to lead the top scorers chart in the Premier League, Tammy Abraham has already shown that he is one of the best striking youngsters in global football. However, that laudable reputation would be put to a stern test when Chelsea battle Liverpool in a mouth-watering Premier League clash on Sunday at Stamford Bridge homeground.
Before his exploits for the Blues who are having a substandard outing in the season considering their consistent struggle at the Bridge where they are yet to win any game this season, Abraham was scapegoated for the team’s loss of the UEFA Super Cup when he missed the decisive penalty kick that ensured Liverpool triumphed in their meeting in Istanbul in August.
He was subjected to racial abuse by some Chelsea faithful but that seems to be the tonic for which drives him in having the last say over his tormentors, the highpoint of which was his sensational hat trick in last Saturday’s 5-2 crushing defeat of Wolves, a team dreaded by many of the ‘big’ teams in the English top flight. This match presents the 21-year-old, the opportunity of inflicting a pay-back pain on Jurgen Klopp’s side who are yet to be beaten this season and are on a five-point lead already with less than a quarter of the season gone. Abraham’s form has seen him pressured by England and Nigeria to represent them at full international level, and a big match like this puts him on the spotlight.
While critics are of the views that he has not faced tested defenders yet, a confrontation with Virgil Van Dijk-marshalled Liverpool defence will surely rate as a big test for his scoring prowess. The Dutch is the most valuable defender in the game and after beating the iconic duo of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to win the best player in the Champions League last season, he will also be having his reputation at stake On loan to Aston Villa last season, Abraham’s 25 goals could not be overlooked by the Blues’ management and he was handed the dreaded No 9 jersey. None of Chelsea’s strikers has managed to record a hat trick until last weekend at the Mollineux.
Looking ahead to the match, Camberwell London-born Abraham, who is prominent among the several academy players that are now leading the battlefront for Roman Abramovic-owned club, said he and his gang are fired up for the Liverpool match which is coming on the heels of their defeat to Valencia in the Champions League on Tuesday. He declared; “(Sunday) is a test of character. We can take our anger out against Liverpool.”
“It’s a massive game and both teams will be going to win.” For Liverpool, the threat of the sensational trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firminho against an unstable Chelsea defence could see the already cracked Bridge reduced to rubbles after their European misadventure on the same ground a few days ago.