Can Chelsea turn the screws on Manchester City?

Last updated: November 24, 2017 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 17:30pm
Venue: Anfield Stadium
Coverage: SkySports
Home Team Form: DLWWW
Away Team Form: LWWWW
Last Meeting: Liverpool 1 – 1 Chelsea
Competition: Premier League

Man City, already 8 points clear, must be dreaming about the title already. Nearly a third through their campaign already, they have only dropped a minuscule two points. Below them, with four points between them, United, Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool, Arsenal and Burnley watch in awe. Their enviable position is to watch the teams below them play each other in joy, as no matter what happens, somebody will drop points. Take this weekend’s match as an example.

Yet, with the exception of Wenger’s untouchables, no Premier League team has been totally infallible. Chelsea, albeit better leaders than chasers, have what it takes to turn the screws on The Citizens: They now just have to overcome a very strong Liverpool side. While a draw wouldn’t be fatal, a win could be a strong sign that this Premier League race is far from over. Although recent match-ups suggest that Chelsea find Liverpool fixtures a struggle, they should beat them if they stick to their solid game-plan.

Liverpool like to press hard, run fast, counter-attack quickly, and play beautiful football. Chelsea can do the same, but against stronger teams, they do better when they bunch up and look for a breakaway goal. Who can forget one of the funniest games of all time in April 2014, when Chelsea time-wasted all game before Demba Ba capitalised on a Steven Gerard slip-up? If they stick Alonso to chase Salah around the pitch and never give him an inch, let Kante sit deep and frustrate their attackers, and Hazard plays at his superlative best, a marginal Chelsea win looks more than probable. As their recent win against Manchester United shows, this is a type of victory that comes naturally to them.

Liverpool, recently shaken by their awful capitulation against Sevilla, have to tighten up at the back to contain the disastrous duo of Hazard and Morata. Their best hope for victory is to simply outclass Chelsea at every level. The Reds are up for a challenge, and will be looking to chase City too. With the other seven teams so far behind City, this is now the time for daring. It should be an exciting match.

Team News

Jamie Carragher was not impressed with Liverpool’s performance against Sevilla on Tuesday, stating that they played like “children.”

Rio Ferdinand has also criticised Liverpool, stating that they “don’t know how to defend.”

Conte has criticised European fixtures for causing them problems in the Premier League, saying that: “If you ask me if we’re ready to catch up Manchester City, whoever prepares the fixtures must try to change something.

Thorgan Hazard, brother of Eden, has expressed an openness to return to his former club, stating: “If Chelsea want me, they’ll pay for my transfer and they’ll take me back.”

Expected Line-Ups:

Liverpool (4-3-3): Mignolet; Gomez, Lovren, Klavan, Moreno; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Coutinho; Salah, Mané, Firmino
Subs: Karius, Milner, Lovren, Can, Mané, Solanke, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Injured: Ward, Clyne, Bogdan
Doubtful: Lallana, Matip
Not available:
Chelsea (5-2-3): Courtois; Azplicueta, Rüdiger, Luiz, Cahill, Alonso; Fabregas, Bakayoko; Willian, Morata, Hazard
Subs: Cabellero, Zappacosta, Christensen, Kenedy, Drinkwater, Pedro, Rahman
Injured: Batshauyi, Musonda
Doubtful: Moses
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
Liverpool So Far This Season Chelsea So Far This Season
5th League Position 3rd
6 (2) Wins (away) 8 (5)
4 – 0 vs Arsenal Biggest Win 4 – 0 vs West Brom
4 (2) Draws (away) 1 (0)
0 – 5 vs Man City Biggest Defeat 1 – 2 vs Crystal Palace
Mohamed Salah (9) Top Goal Scorer Álvaro Morata (8)
Y15, R1 Discipline Y19, R3
2 Failures to Score 2
5 Clean Sheets 6
50%% Both Teams to Score Games 42%
67% Over 2.5 Goals 58%
33% Under 2.5 Goals 42%
  • Put together, both teams have over 2.5 goals 62.5% of the time. That’s nearly every two out of three games!
  • Salah has kept up his brilliant form – knocking in another two last weekend to get his total up to 9.
  • The comparison in worst defeats between both teams is stark. While Chelsea have lost three games by just one goal, Liverpool were wrecked 5-0 by Manchester City
  • Chelsea have been very successful away from home this season, with five wins in six trips.

Head to Head

Last Five Competitive Meetings Between The Sides
Date Game Result Round First Goal-scorer
31/01/2017 Liverpool 1 – 1 Chelsea Premier League Luiz 24′
16/09/2016 Chelsea 1 – 2 Liverpool Premier League Lovren 17′
11/05/2016 Liverpool 1 – 1 Chelsea Premier League Hazard 32′
31/10/2015 Chelsea 1 – 3 Liverpool Premier League Ramires 4′
10/05/2015 Chelsea 1 – 1 Liverpool Premier League Terry 5′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Liverpool are the favourites for this game at odds of 23/20 for the win at William Hill. Chelsea on the other hand are ranked at a pretty valuable 9/4, making an outright bet on the Blues a great idea. Knock the Chelsea win together with 3 or more goals in the match at a highly respectable 15/4.