Free Spending Chelsea Welcome Champions Liverpool to the Bridge

Last updated: September 18, 2020 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Sunday, 17:30
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Coverage: Sky Sports
Home Form: WLLDW
Away Form: WDDWW
Last Meeting: Liverpool 5 – 3 Chelsea
Competition: Premier League

The first battle between the big six begins at Stamford Bridge as Frank Lampard’s reinforced Chelsea’s face the reigning Champions Liverpool. This is the first real test for the Blues new signings, coming against Jürgen Klopp’s well-oiled machine.

Chelsea has been the busiest in the transfer market this window making up for the lack of signatures last season, with the club serving on a transfer ban, by bringing in six new players. They have smashed their transfer record bringing in Kai Havertz from Bayern Leverkusen for £72 million, the same price they paid for much-criticised goalkeeper Kepa from Atletico Bilbao.

While Chelsea fans will no doubt be delirious at their club’s transfer activity, there is likely to be a cautious minority of support who will know that big-money signings don’t always work out well for the Blues. All five of their biggest transfers (before this window) have been a flop with Christian Pulisic £57.6m yet to prove after a series of recurring long term injuries and is currently out with a hamstring injury. Fernando Torres and Alvaro Morata had bad spells and moved back to Atletico Madrid.

The real test for Frank Lampard is whether he can manage the big changes and big names at the club after just 12 months with the huge number of signings signalling a cycle change. The expectations will also change, having finished in the top four and reached the finals of the FA Cup without any investment last season.

Despite the transfer ban, Chelsea did remarkably well last season, losing out on the third spot on goal difference and reaching the final of the FA Cup. A great achievement as they relied on youth, there is a slight undercurrent of worry as many of these youngsters now seem frozen out at Chelsea. Tammy Abraham, in particular, had a fantastic half of the season with 15 goals that earned him an England debut and also won the London Football Awards Premier League Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year. Timo Werner arrival pushes the youngster much lower down the pecking order.

Werner made his debut in Chelsea’s season opener away at Brighton. The German sensation ended the match with a dead leg but looked impressive throughout the game; his industry and work-rate bode well for him to succeed in the Premier League. Despite not scoring a goal, the 24-year-old won the penalty for the first goal in the 3-1 win. Early indications are that he will be every bit a 20+ goals in a season player.

It was, however, a young Englishman that was Chelsea’s best player in their first game, 20-year-old Reece James. The youngster played the full 90 minutes, scoring a great goal and assisting another. He won 4 aerial duels and had a passing success rate of 88.4%, certainly one to keep an eye on.

The real area of concern is the man behind the posts, Kepa Arrizabalaga. He has conceded more goals (19) from outside the penalty area than any other keeper since he arrived. The 25-year-old was also the lowest shot-stopper last season with just 55 saves, despite this, manager Lampard has publicly backed the player, stating he is “very happy” with him.

Liverpool fans are loving life right now, winning Europe’s biggest prize in 2019 could only be eclipsed by one thing, winning the domestic league for the first time in a generation. That was duly delivered last year, securing the Premier League at a canter, 18 points ahead of deposed champions, Manchester City.

Liverpool had a scare in their first game against a spirited Leeds United side. It only took the champions four minutes to take the lead, Mohammed Salah scoring from the spot after a generous decision from the ref. Leeds, playing in the top-flight for the first time since 2004, equalised eight minutes later. Jack Harrison with a delightful finish after a stunning run.

Virgil Van Dijk headed in a powerful header on 20 minutes before he gave away a loose pass for Patrick Bramford to beat Alisson and make it 2 – 2. Salah powered in a classic volley for a half-time lead, but the newly-promoted side equalised for the third time through Mateusz Klich. The Egyptian King Salah completed his hat trick with a penalty two minutes from time to seal the game 4-3. Incredible entertainment.

While the game was great to watch, it does expose some vulnerabilities about Liverpool. Van Djik is making uncharacteristic errors, and the team as a whole do not appear to have that aura of invincibility that we saw at the beginning of last season. They are still winning though; you just question if they have enough strength in numbers to maintain the title marathon.

Team News

Werner looked set to join Liverpool, but Chelsea pounced to seal the deal after the Reds seemed reluctant to pay his release fee.

Chelsea are lining up their seventh signing this window. Edouard Mendy looks set to sign for Chelsea and will compete with Kepa for the gloves.

Liverpool has been defiantly reluctant this transfer window with just one signing.

Salah scored Liverpool’s 40th hat trick in the league in their opening 4 – 3 win against Leeds.

Expected Line-Ups:

Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Kepa, Azpiliqueta, Rudiger, Zouma, Christensen, James, Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Mount, Werner
Subs: Caballero, Barkley, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, Kante, Loftus-Cheek, Pulisic, Emerson, Abraham, Tomori, Kovacic
Injured: Ziyech, Gilmour, Chilwell
Not available:
Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Firmino, Mane
Subs: Adrian, Henderson, Jones, Elliott, Keita, Minnamino, Milner, Henderson, Matip, Origi
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
Chelsea This Season Liverpool This Season
3rd League Position 6th
1 (1) Wins (away) 1 (0)
3 – 1 v Brighton Biggest Win 4 – 3 v Leeds
0 (0) Draws (away) 0 (0)
Biggest Defeat
Zouma (1) Top Goal Scorer Salah (3)
Y0, R0 Discipline Y1, R0
0 Failures to Score 0
0% Clean Sheets 0%
100% Both Teams to Score Games 100%
100% Over 2.5 Goals 100%
0% Under 2.5 Goals 0%
  • The Reds and The Blues have a 65 game history; Chelsea has 26 wins against Liverpool’s 22 wins with 17 draws between the sides.
  • The last game between the two sides produced eight goals, Liverpool winning 5-3.
  • Salah and Werner will be the most likely threat for either side with lots of goals in them this season.
  • Kepa was the lowest shot-stopper last season with 55 while Alisson was slightly busier with 58 saves.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
22/07/2020 EPL Liverpool 5 – 3 Chelsea Keita 23’
03/03/2020 FA Cup Chelsea 2 – 0 Liverpool Willian 13’
22/09/2019 EPL Chelsea 1 – 2 Liverpool Alexander-Arnold14′
14/08/2019 UEFA Super Cup Liverpool 2 – 2 Chelsea Giroud 36’
14/04/2019 EPL Liverpool 2 – 0 Chelsea Mane 51’

Conclusion & Betting Tips

While the rest of the ‘big six’ have been conservative in the transfer market, Chelsea has been busy scooping up some of the most exciting talents in Europe. Chelsea has lacked a top goal threat since Diego Costa, but they may well have found the answer in the exciting Timo Werner, if he can score 20+, Chelsea are well stocked in other departments to challenge seriously. The goalkeeper position is still a problem; we expect new signings to rectify this before the window closes.

We predicted a one-goal victory for Liverpool in our preview of their game against Leeds; we did, however, undo that accurate prediction by publicly stating that the game would not finish 4-3! Learning from that mistake, Liverpool do look they could concede in any game; you just fancy them to outscore the opponents. If Liverpool goes toe-to-toe with Chelsea, it could be any scoreline.

This game is a tough one to call, both Chelsea and Liverpool had high scoring games in their first match, and both teams conceded. Liverpool’s 4-3 against Leeds has discouraged us from predicting the scoreline. Therefore we are going to play it safe with a Bet Builder at bet365, Mohamed Salah and Timo Werner to score anytime @ 9/2 is our choice.