English Premier League: Chelsea vs Liverpool

English Premier League: Chelsea vs Liverpool

The biggest match of the seventh round of the Premier League is a mouth-watering encounter you don’t want to miss! It’s the Blues battling the Reds, Maurizio Sarri up against Jurgen Klopp, Sarri-ball against gegenpressing, it’s Chelsea versus Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Liverpool are top of the table after recording six wins in a row, while Chelsea are two points behind in third place after failing to beat West Ham last weekend, drawing 0-0 at the London Stadium. 

Please note that this preview was written prior to these sides’ Carabao Cup third-round meeting on Wednesday September 26.

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English Premier League
Chelsea vs Liverpool 
Saturday 29 September 
Stamford Bridge 
18:30

To Win 
Chelsea 2/1
Draw 51/20
Liverpool 13/10

Chelsea

Chelsea will look to claim maximum points against the Reds on Saturday and will be confident of doing so, having won this fixture 1-0 last season thanks to an Olivier Giroud header.

This will be a big game for Kepa Arrizabalaga, the world's most expensive goalkeeper who joined from Athletic Bilbao for £71 million. Many believe Liverpool's Allisson was Sarri’s first choice as Thibaut Courtois' replacement and the Spanish shot stopper will want to prove that Chelsea made the right decision by showing faith in him. Apart from Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s strike, Kepa is yet to really be tested in his first six Premier League games, but he will have his work cut out for him against the Reds. He will rely on solid performances from the centre-back pairing of David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger.

Marcos Alonso has been in sensational form for the Blues this season, with Sarri hailing him as arguably the world's best left-back. Inarguably, the Spaniard is the most lethal defender in front of goal in the Premier League. Despite being moved from his wing-back role into a standard left-back position under Sarri, he has continued to be vital to the Blues’ attack and already has a goal and two assists this season. Alonso has a knack of scoring big goals in big games and Liverpool will need to be wary of him.

While Alonso has been superb, Eden Hazard has been Chelsea’s standout performer, thriving in Sarri's attack-minded set-up. The Belgian is currently the top scorer in the Premier League (tied with Aleksandar Mitrovic), netting five times while assisting two goals. If he is at his majestic best, Chelsea will have a good chance of victory. With a talented midfield trio of Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and N'Golo Kante and most likely Giroud to play with Hazard, Chelsea will be very dangerous.

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Liverpool

As difficult as it’s going to be for Chelsea, this will be arguably Liverpool’s toughest test in the Premier League so far. Yes, they’ve played Tottenham at Wembley – running out 2-1 winners – but going to Stamford Bridge is one of the most daunting places to travel for any Premier League club.

Liverpool’s last away game in the Premier League last season was against Chelsea which they lost 1-0 courtesy of Giroud’s header and Klopp’s side will be out to avenge that defeat. The Reds have been brilliant on their travels this season, beating Crystal Palace, Leicester City and Spurs, scoring twice in each game.

The Merseyside club will fancy their chances of getting a good result at Stamford Bridge on Saturday as they’ve managed to come away with some great results there in recent seasons. Before losing 1-0 there last season, the Reds were unbeaten in their previous three visits to Chelsea, winning twice.

No team has a better record against top-six opposition than Liverpool since Klopp's arrival in October 2015, however, last season they managed just one point from 15 in their visits to Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea – shipping 15 goals. Klopp knows if he’s side are to win their first-ever Premier League title, they will have to improve on their away record against the top six sides.

This is arguably the best Liverpool side we’ve seen in years. The Reds are now in safe hands with Allisson in goal, while the duo of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are forming a strong partnership in defence, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson thriving on the flanks. James Milner has been outstanding in midfield this season, working tirelessly for his team and triggering numerous attacks with his incisive passing. Further up the pitch, the Reds boast one of the most fearsome frontlines in world football with the trio of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

Probable line-ups:

Chelsea: 4-3-3
Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Jorginho, Kante, Kovacic; Willian, Giroud, Hazard.

Liverpool: 4-3-3
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Wijnaldum, Henderson; Mane, Salah, Firmino.

Prediction: Double Chance & Both Teams to Score – Draw/Away Yes (11/10)
I’ve been very impressed with both sides’ start to the season and we should be in for an entertaining affair as both teams thrive on attacking football. I’m expecting a couple of goals and I think if we’re going to have a winner, Liverpool might just edge it. As a diehard Chelsea fan, I hope I get this wrong, but the smart thing to do is back the Reds on the Win/Draw Double Chance & Both Teams to Score at 11/10. 

Written by Chad Nagel

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