Boss Frank Lampard says Tammy Abraham and Fikayi Tomori are potentially facing their biggest test so far when Chelsea take on Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
The Premier League leaders have won all of their five games so far this season and Lampard, whose side are sixth with two wins, two draws and a defeat, will have to be at their best to beat the Merseysiders.
Abraham, 21, has seven goals in his previous three league games while Tomori, also 21, has excelled at centre-back after coming into the side in recent weeks.
Abraham, if selected, will come up against Virgil van Dijk, widely regarded at the division’s best defender, while Tomori could be trying to deal with the triple attacking threat of Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firminho.
Lampard said Van Dijk’s performances has rightly “thrown him up for all the individual awards”.
“He is an incredible player seemingly with all the attributes to be an incredible defender and more,” Lampard said.
“Tomori has shown real quality and a calmness about how he has arrived in the first team in the Premier League.
“But if you give them [Liverpool’s attacking players] one second, or half a second, they are gone and can hurt you and that is something all our defenders have to be aware of. It is a test for our centre-backs.”
Lampard said all the praise heaped on Chelsea’s young talent should never be taken “as a chance to relax but a chance to get even better”.
“We will have to be at our best,” Chelsea all-time record goalscorer added, “which we have shown in phases this season. Against Liverpool, if you aren’t at your best then they will punish you.”