Liverpool v Chelsea Preview

English Premier League | Saturday 8 November | Anfield | 14:45







Chelsea’s early ‘Invincibles’ theory will be put to the test on Saturday as Jose Mourinho’s men travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool in another cracking Premier League clash. The two sides have shared some classic encounters through the years, especially in the past decade during the Mourinho-Benitez era, which was highlighted by incidents such as the Luis Garcia ‘ghost goal’. With the bitter feud still ongoing we should be in for an enjoyable affair as two rivals battle it out for bragging rights.

Their last meeting certainly had title ramifications with much at stake for both sides, but it was a Mourinho masterstroke that saw Chelsea capitalize on Steven Gerrard’s slip-up to prevent the Reds from clinching their nineteenth league title after a 25 year wait.

Brendan Rodgers will be out for vengeance as he looks to dent Chelsea’s title charge this time by proving that form is temporary and class is permanent. It’s the Reds versus the Blues, the Apprentice up against his Master; a first-rate Liverpool-Chelsea clash. 

To Win (90mins)
Liverpool 5/2
Draw 24/10
Chelsea 11/10

LIVERPOOL

Liverpool’s stuttering start to the season continued as they suffered defeat at Newcastle last weekend, as Ayoze Perez capitalised on more woeful defending from Rodgers' side to score the only goal of the home team's 1-0 victory.

The defeat leaves Liverpool in seventh place, 12 points off their opponents who lead the standings with 26 points. The Reds are yet to find their rhythm this season and have struggled for consistency with four victories and four defeats in 10 matches played. Rodgers' failure to address Liverpool's defending is a huge concern.

The centre back pairing of Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren have not gelled this season, and have conceded 20 goals in all competitions. They will need to focus on being more rigid at the back if they are going to keep Chelsea’s lethal offence at bay.

While stopping goals has been an Achilles heel for Liverpool, scoring goals has been just as problematic. Replacing Luis Suarez was always going to be difficult. After all, the Uruguayan scored 15 goals in his first 10 league games last season, more than the whole Liverpool squad have combined this season (13). After Suarez moved on to greener pastures, Barcelona to be specific, Daniel Sturridge was expected to be Rodgers’ focal point for goals but his injury certainly hasn’t done The Reds any favours.

Mario Balotelli has been a prime suspect for Liverpool’s inability to score more goals. The Italian has failed to impress The Kop since his £16 million move from AC Milan last summer and may face the axe if he doesn’t find his scoring boots. Balotelli has gone 606 minutes without a goal and he’ll be hoping to break his duck against The Blues this Saturday and lead the Reds to victory.

Philippe Coutinho has looked the most dangerous for The Reds this term and is proving to be a key player for Rodgers’ side. The Brazilian playmaker has shown his intelligence to find pockets of space in between opponents' defence and midfield and is one of few players in the squad blessed with the ability to create something out of nothing.   

CHELSEA

Chelsea’s alluring football was on hold last weekend as they grinded out a 2-1 victory against Queens Park Rangers at Stamford Bridge. Despite the Blues winning ugly with so many naturally gifted players it showed that they are not predictable and although they love their attractive football, they can be workmanlike. It was an ugly win indeed but Mourinho’s men did find some time to entertain with their opening goal worthy of an Oscar. The Blues then took their foot off the gas, allowing Rangers back into the game and were made to pay as Charlie Austin grabbed an equaliser before an Eden Hazard penalty secured all three points.

Mourinho will now turn his attention to this weekend’s high profile fixture against a Liverpool side in disarray. While The Reds have struggled, Chelsea have excelled. The Blues are unbeaten, winning eight matches with two draws against the Manchester clubs and are the only side in the league who have scored in every game thus far. It’s fair to say Chelsea’s summer signings have been key to The Blues’ impressive run in the league.

Cesc Fabregas has proved to be a great addition for Mourinho’s side and has lifted Chelsea to a new level. The Spanish maestro's assist stats are starting to look really scary as he’s been involved in 10 goals (one goal, nine assists) in 10 league games for The Blues.

His national teammate Diego Costa has been equally impressive since signing from Atletico Madrid last summer, looking lethal in front of goal. He failed to get on the score-sheet against QPR last weekend for only the second time this season and Mourinho reckons Costa will return to his blistering best against The Reds, firing a warning at Rodgers - his close friend and former assistant in his first spell at Chelsea.

There are many dangerous players and huge scoring threats in this Mourinho side with the likes of Fabregas, Costa, Willian and Oscar but the most hazardous one of the lot, is undoubtedly Chelsea’s Belgian Wizard. Hazard brings the magic that can win matches in one action and has the flair and artist's touch of the football. His trickery and dribbling ability will cause all problems for Glen Johnson and co.

Betting Verdict: CHELSEA 11/10

It’s no shocker that Chelsea come into the game strong favourites at 11/10 and with Liverpool priced up at 5/2 to win at Anfield shows how poor The Reds have been this term. In high profile games such as this, form usually gets brushed under the carpet. However, Chelsea look a class above and their deadly attack should prove too much for a vulnerable Reds defence. The Blues managed the double over Liverpool last season winning 2-1 at Stamford Bridge and 2-0 at Anfield and will be confident of claiming all three points. A Chelsea win, courtesy of a Mourinho masterclass is tipped. 

Written by Chadley Nagel for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

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