Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: Chelsea vs Liverpool Preview

Chelsea vs Liverpool Preview

Chelsea vs Liverpool

The second leg of the New Year weekend humdinger takes us to Stamford Bridge. There is never any love lost when these two face off and both camps will know that they simply cannot afford to drop points.

It’s an intriguing game indeed, these two won’t see each other in the league again this season but many are of the opinion they are the only two capable of catching City.

The second half of the season has begun, the business end is now, and what a way to close off Sunday evening!

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English Premier League
Sunday 2 January
Stamford Bridge
18:30

To Win
Chelsea 31/20
Draw 47/20
Liverpool 17/10

Chelsea

The last time I covered Chelsea as part of a feature game (against Aston Villa) they asked me to eat humble pie. So quick comment on the pie – it was incredible, I just don’t enjoy the subtle fruity flavours…but, anyway… I digress…

Thomas Tuchel’s side look to be returning to their level best and what exceptional timing to do so. With the league fixture list as compact as it is, any sort of good form almost counts double at this time of year. Not only do you rake in the coveted points – you also build up a head of steam and secure team confidence.

Impressively, Chelsea have stuck to their DNA under their German boss, even when games get uncomfortable and edgy, they always stick to the same principles, it doesn’t always look the same, but the principles don’t change. Reece James still wants to get up into attacking areas of the pitch and has scored some goals again. Jorginho has been superb all year and they will likely start Romelu Lukaku upfront.

The last time these teams met, Chelsea would have felt hard done by. They dominated Liverpool, but they made a mistake at a crucial time and in a crucial area. I’m not sure anything would need to change. Liverpool will be aggressive going forward and Chelsea will often frustrate them and use Lukaku as an outlet option to hold up the game and bring his wingbacks into good areas. People often speculate around the challenge between Lukaku and Liverpool’s defenders (I was one of those people), but I don’t think that’s where the true challenge is.

The real battle will happen in the middle of the field. Both these two sides rely heavily on the ability to transition seamlessly and effectively. In both cases it is done through the middle of the field. Now this might not be a popular opinion, but I think Chelsea have the better players in the middle of the pitch. So, the question then becomes, how do Liverpool stop that?

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Liverpool

So, this will be the final game before Liverpool have to release their African players to play in the ‘little tournament in Africa’…of course the comment is sarcastic, but it deserves nothing less (no matter which way you spin it).

Liverpool have been impressive, even when teams look as though they have them beat…the Reds find a way – and that is truly the mark of a champion team. Jurgen Klopp’s men would have been rested before their Leicester fixture, but this would have no doubt been the one they all had one eye on.

The side were forced to take some time off due to the COVID-19 disruption, but this might have been welcomed by all at the AXA Training Centre – which might explain their latest complaint on the number of substitutes allowed…nevertheless, they will travel to London with Fabinho, Van Dijk and Thiago, players who certainly can change the outcome of any game they are a part of.

In fairness to Liverpool, they play an incredibly fast paced style and players need to be outlandishly fit to enact it. The business of the festive period cannot be something which helps, and it might explain their sort of lackluster attacking displays of late.

Now before the knives are out for me again, all I mean is that there seems to be a tiredness in Liverpool’s game that isn’t always there. The quality is undoubted and evident…they just seem reactive which is largely uncommon. In their game against Spurs, they never really looked as though they were ever ahead of the game and bossing it.

This won’t be an easy game for them, and the absence of their 50 thousand plus passionate fans won’t help, but I’m not sure they lose.

Prediction: Over 2.5 + BTTS (11/10)

I don’t think it’s worth looking for a winner here. If you put a gun to my head, I would go for a draw, only because I think Chelsea come into the game in a good place and Liverpool can be so much better than their last three games and yet they still don’t lose.

Neither side will want to lose the game obviously, but I don’t think either will try and kill the game either. Liverpool will still attack relentlessly, but Chelsea has the players to get behind defensive lines and play football in half-spaces. I suspect an intricate sort of game, but for my money over 2.5 and both to score at 11/10 is good enough. Take the bet, sit back and enjoy!

Written by Ryan Liberty