The Stage is Set for a Showdown at Stamford Bridge
Last updated: September 15, 2016 by Leon Marshal
|Coverage:||Sky Sports 1|
|Last season:||Chelsea 1 – 3 Liverpool|
|Competition:||The Premier League|
It already looks like the under achievements of last season for both these teams will go down as something as an anomaly. Chelsea have started the season in scintillating form, having won 3 and drawn 1 of their opening fixtures, scoring plenty of goals in the process. Liverpool have been equally impressive, except for a shock defeat to the hands of newly promoted Burnley, and are currently the top scorers in the league. On paper at least, it looks like we can expect fireworks.
Chelsea’s last match against Swansea did highlight some potential frailties however. Cruising to victory, they suddenly found themselves 2-1 down and only rescued a point with a late equaliser from Diego Costa, to maintain their unbeaten record. Eden Hazard and Diego Costa have unsurprisingly emerged as the key figures. Costa’s goals – and Hazard’s creative talents – have been at the heart of success so far, with new signing N’golo Kante equally impressive in midfield. With this – and Liverpool’s lack of solidity at the back – Chelsea will be confident that they can get the goals to lead them to victory in the match.
Liverpool too will be confident of scoring goals. With a habit of clinching victory by outscoring their opponents, they will be looking to the attacking skills of Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge, Sadio Mane and Phillippe Coutinho. Though there will be somewhat of a team sheet headache for manager Jürgen Klopp. Despite being without Coutinho last week, the team produced probably their best performance so far, with a 4-1 thrashing of Leicester. Klopp is sure to reinstate Coutinho straight back into the team, but at whose expense is another question. Sturridge or Lallana could make way. The only problems seem to be at the back. Without a clean sheet this season, the team must tighten up in defence, especially with Diego Costa in such fine scoring form. This one looks set to be a fiery affair.
John Terry is side-lined for around 10 days and manager Antonio Conte has stated that this will provide the opportunity for David Luiz to get his second Chelsea debut, partnering Gary Cahill in the centre of defence.
Other than this, there are no expected changes to a Chelsea side that has looked excellent this season. Cesc Fabregas looks set to have to continue with his place on the bench, after Oscar put in another good shift last week.
There are questions about the Liverpool line-up both at the back and the front. After Lucas’ howler led to a goal for Leicester last week, Klopp will have to make a decision whether to continue with the midfielder in central defence, or replace him for Klavan.
Philippe Coutinho’s return to the starting 11 is fully expected, but this leaves questions over who will make way. One possibility is that Daniel Sturridge will be replaced, with Firmino pushing up into a false 9 position and Coutinho starting behind the striker. But Sturridge performed excellently last week and fully deserves to keep his place in the side.
|Chelsea (4-2-3-1):||Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, David Luiz, Azpilicueta, Kante, Matic, Willian, Oscar, Hazard, Costa|
|Subs||Begovic, Alonso, Fabregas, Pedro, Moses, Batshuayi, Aina|
|Liverpool (4-1-4-1):||Mignolet, Clyne, Matip, Lucas, Milner, Lallana, Henderson, Coutinho, Mane, Sturridge, Firmino|
|Subs||Karius, Wijnaldum, Grujic, Klavan, Moreno, Origi, Stewart|
|Injured:||Sakho, Gomez, Can, Ojo|
So far this season
|Chelsea this season||Liverpool this season|
|2 (1)||(at home) Wins (away)||1 (1)|
|3-0 vs. Burnley||Biggest win||4-1 vs. Leicester|
|0 (1)||(at home) Draws (away)||0 (1)|
|—||Biggest Defeat||0 – 2 vs. Burnley|
|Diego Costa (4)||Top scorer||Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane (2)|
|Eden Hazard (1)||Assist Leader||Georginio Wijnaldum (2)|
|Y14, R0||Discipline||Y10, R0|
|0||Failures to score||1|
|3||Both Teams to Score Games||3|
|4||Over 2.5 Games||2|
|0||Under 2.5 Games||2|
- Chelsea’s perfect start to the season came undone last week against Swansea as the side were held to a 2-2 draw. Diego Costa was in fine form, converting two and earning himself man of the match.
- The start of the season has been a bit of a mixed bag for Liverpool, but their win against Leicester in their last match was nothing short of emphatic. Some excellent individual performances stood out and the likes of Firmino and Mane will be looking to get back on the score sheet.
- Costa will be hoping to continue his goal scoring form, which has seen Chelsea score in each game so far this season and all their games feature over 2.5 goals.
- The team need to find some defensive stability however. Lucas’ howler sacrificed what would have been the team’s first clean sheet this season. The team are without a clean sheet in 4 games then, but have also scored plenty, only once failing to find the net.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|11.05.2016||The Premier League||Liverpool 1 – 1 Chelsea||Hazard 32′|
|31.10.2015||The Premier League||Chelsea 1 – 3 Liverpool||Ramires 4′|
|10.05.2015||The Premier League||Chelsea 1 – 1 Liverpool||Terry 5′|
|27.01.2015||League Cup||Chelsea 1 – 0 Liverpool||Ivanovic 94′|
|20.01.2015||League Cup||Liverpool 1 – 1 Chelsea||Hazard 18′|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
Looking at the previous results and statistics, this one looks sure to feature plenty of goals. Both teams to score or over 2.5 goals looks like a safe bet, but with the contest set to become heated, betting on a fairly high yellow card or discipline points outcome could be a good shout. Diego Costa has been booked 3 times already this year and with the Liverpool defenders likely to target him, that trend could be set to continue. Get these and other bets with great prices at William Hill.