Big Match Breakdown: Liverpool v Chelsea
Rivals clash at 5:30pm tonight
Two of the Premier League’s heavyweights go to battle this evening as Liverpool host Chelsea at Anfield.
It’s a crucial clash for both sides as they attempt to keep pace with runaway leaders Manchester City.
A defeat for either side could spell the end of their respective title ambitions, especially if City beat Huddersfield Town tomorrow.
As always, the Coral News Team are on hand with your big match breakdown ahead of the game.
These are two teams that are certainly no strangers to meeting in big matches. Liverpool and Chelsea have clashed in 10 Champions League games and an FA Cup Final over the last 12 years. And that’s without the 25 league fixtures the pair have shared since 2005.
Last season the Reds won 2-1 at Stamford Bridge before coming from behind to draw 1-1 with the West Londoners at Anfield. Georginio Wijnaldum scored for the hosts to cancel out Chelsea’s opener through David Luiz.
In the Premier League era, both sides are locked on 19 wins apiece, with 12 draws.
The likely XIs
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp isn’t expected to make too many changes for the visit of Chelsea. Simon Mignolet will replace Loris Karius in goal, while Alberto Moreno and Jordan Henderson could both be dropped after poor midweek performances. Trent Alexander-Arnold will come back in at right-back, with Joel Matip rated as 50/50 to partner Dejan Lovren at centre-half.
For the visitors, Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Andreas Christiansen and Gary Cahill are all expected to return after sitting out of Wednesday’s victory over Qarabag. Conte is expected to start with a five-man midfield in order to combat their host’s attacking threat.
The key to this game should lie with the respective midfield line-ups. Both teams have players that can cause serious damage. That means the jobs of Henderson, N’Golo Kante, Emre Can and Bakayoko are crucial to how this match ends up.
Conte will also be keen to exert pressure on a Reds defence that buckled under seemingly limited pressure against Sevilla on Tuesday night. Moreno, in particular, could prove a weak-link for the hosts.
Despite their collapse in the week, Liverpool go into this game as the 11/10 favourites. Chelsea are available at 23/10 to collect three points. You can back a third consecutive Anfield draw between the two clubs at 13/5.
Where goalscorers are concerned, seven players are rated as 2/1 or shorter to get on the scoresheet. Of those, the Coral News Team think that Mohamed Salah is the best bet at 6/4 to net against his former club. For the visitors, Eden Hazard appeals at 2/1, as does Cesc Fabregas at a slightly longer price of 3/1.
With such a plethora of attacking players on show, it seems likely that the match will see Both Teams to Score land at 4/7.
However, there’s an even better price on offer if you back a Draw and Both Teams to Score. These are two evenly matched sides and this is a fixture that has seen four draws in its last seven stagings. It’s 13/4 for it to come to fruition.
You can also get 6/1 on the match to end all-square at 1-1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing