As weekends go, Chelsea and Liverpool couldn’t have enjoyed/endured more contrasting fortunes. Two minutes of madness cost the Blues all three points at Swansea – with skipper John Terry limping off and out of this match, while Liverpool’s front four were in sublime form as they recorded a 4-1 verdict over champions Leicester City.
This fixture is the second ‘Friday Night Football’ of the campaign, so are the millions of TV viewers at home and down the pub set for an exciting spectacle or a bore draw?
As mentioned, Terry will miss this contest with a foot injury, and that opens the door for David Luiz to make his full Chelsea ‘debut’ in front of his own fans. Ironically, that will probably play into the Blues’ hands; Luiz is quicker and a better defender on the ground, and that extra mobility will be required to stem the tide of this free-flowing Liverpool attack.
Other than his captain and long-term absentee Kurt Zouma, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has a full complement to call upon.
Liverpool will be sweating on the fitness of Emre Can (ankle) and Dejan Lovren (eye) in the build up to this one, and either could yet still make the cut if their injuries heal in time. Neither played a part in the humbling of Leicester however, so Jurgen Klopp will surely be tempted to go with the same eleven once again.
2016/17 Season Stats
Chelsea remain unbeaten this season (W3 D1 L0), and bar that two-minute period against Swansea when they went to sleep they would still be the proud holders of a 100% record. They have scored in every game this term and conceded in 75%.
No Premier League team has won more corners this term than Chelsea – and remarkably they have conceded the least too. That’s an interesting insight for bettors.
Another interesting ‘angle’ is that these are two of the dirtiest teams in the division – earning 13 (Chelsea) and 10 yellow cards respectively (most of Chelsea’s have been Diego Costa though).
Liverpool have been all about the goals so far in 2015/16. They are yet to keep a clean sheet and – barring the 0-2 aberration at Burnley – have now scored nine in three outings. In theoretical league tables they would be second in a ‘goals for’ league and 16th for ‘goals conceded’. Punters, you have been warned.
These two sides rank second and third for shots on target – a great stat as it lets us know how many goalscoring opportunities these two sides are creating. Chelsea have yielded half the shots on target that Liverpool have (seven compared to fourteen), and they can thank their midfield destroyer N’Golo Kante for that.
These two have met on an incredible 164 occasions on the past, with Liverpool boasting 70-56 lead (38 draws).
Chelsea haven’t beaten the Reds in their last five attempts (four draws, one defeat), and that record surprisingly continues at Stamford Bridge, where they have won just three of their last fourteen against Liverpool (six draws, five defeats).
They last met at the Bridge in October 2015, when a brace from Philippe Coutinho guided Liverpool to a 3-1 victory.
Wow, where do we start with this one? Chelsea could, perhaps should, be four wins from four right now, while Liverpool’s schizophrenic form – losing to Hull one week, beasting Leicester another – continues unabated. The Reds’ fine record at Stamford Bridge cannot be ignored, however.
When you can make a strong case for either side, it is perhaps easier to err on the side of caution and back the draw: at 11/5 with the likes of bet365, Paddy Power and Coral, it really is a worthwhile investment.
These two have kept one clean sheet between them in eight combined outings, and yet have blasted 18 goals too. The fact that 80% of their last ten meetings have witnessed both teams scoring, with only 40% Over 2.5 Goals, leads us to back BTTS at 8/13 with Betfred.
We like not one but two players here in the anytime goalscorer market; and both decisions are led by the opposition’s defence. David Luiz is being thrown to the wolves a little bit here against a rampant Liverpool attack and Robert Firmino, bagger of a brace against the Foxes, is most likely to benefit at 23/10 with Betfair.
And with Lucas set to continue at centre half for Liverpool in the absence of Lovren, surely Diego Costa will find the net in his fourth game this season at 6/4 (also with Betfair).
Both Teams To Score (Best price from BETFRED at 8/13) – BET HERE
Robert Firmino Anytime Goalscorer (Best price from BETFAIR at 23/10) – BET HERE
Diego Costa Anytime Goalscorer (Best price from BETFAIR at 6/4) – BET HERE
More betting previews for this weekends games!