Chelsea vs Liverpool Preview and Betting Tip – DS

by | Jan 2, 2022

Chelsea vs Liverpool Preview

Aston Villa just didn’t show up against Chelsea. The absence of John McGinn hit them hard and it was a comfortable enough night for The Blues. We are covering Tuchel’s team again this weekend and hopefully Chelsea vs Liverpool lives up to its billing. The visitors are narrow favourites at 8/5, Chelsea are 15/8 and the draw is 13/5 on the machine. It is a must win match for both teams with City 11 points clear at the summit. Can Chelsea get just their second home win since the start of November? Or can Klopp’s side improve on their return of just 7 points from their last five away games? Check out our preview and betting tip below.

Chelsea

The wheels are starting to come off Chelsea’s title challenge and they need to start winning more games. They have only won one of their last four in the Premier League and while they aren’t losing many matches, draws won’t get it done against a winning machine like Man City. They have admittedly had to deal with injuries to key players (Kante, Kovacic, Chilwell and now James) and Tuchel also has beef with Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian frontman declared his undying love for Inter during the week and his ambition is to return there some day.

The timing of the interview was strange considering he has scored two in two games. He has had injury/covid issues to deal with too, so it’s not as if he was benched for no reason. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if Tuchel uses the interview as an excuse for dropping him (news broke this morning that he has).

At this stage, everyone knows that Liverpool are vulnerable to pace, both centrally and down their right hand side. In Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi, Mount and Ziyech Chelsea have plenty of pacy players and it would be no surprise if a combination of three of those four start up top at Stamford Bridge. At the back, Christensen, James, Chilwell and Silva are out, so Chalobah may have to slot in alongside Rudiger and Azpilicueta. Having to start with a makeshift back three is hardly ideal against a side like Liverpool, but that’s what they’ll have to do.

Liverpool

Last season, Liverpool’s title challenge fell apart at this exact time of the year. Is history going to repeat itself? Heading into their game at Spurs, it looked like they were going to go toe to toe with City for the league. However, they luckily drew that 2-2, they then lost 1-0 against a depleted Leicester side and now suddenly, they trail Man City by 12 points after their last gasp win vs Arsenal.

Covid is starting to have an affect on them too. Klopp announced that three players (unnamed) have tested positive ahead of the weekend. News broke on Saturday that Klopp himself has now tested positive so he won’t be on the touchline on Sunday. He is already without the suspended Robertson and the inured Thiago, Minamino, Origi and Elliott. Liverpool would usually be able to cope without those players. However, if Fabinho or Henderson are amongst those that have tested positive for Covid, they could be in big trouble.

Liverpool’s midfield plays a pivotal role in protecting the back four. Their job is to close down opposing players quickly and make it as hard as possible for them to play accurate long balls over their high line. The likes of Jones, Keita and Chamberlain aren’t as effective doing that job and if two of those players start in the engine room, it could be another tough afternoon for The Reds.

Chelsea vs Liverpool Possible Lineups

Chelsea: Mendy, Rudiger, Chalobah, Azpilicueta, Alonso, Hudson-Odoi, Kante, Kovacic, Mount, Ziyech, Pulisic.

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas, Jones, Henderson, Chamberlain, Mane, Jota, Salah.

Chelsea vs Liverpool Betting Tip

Before the news was announced regarding the positive Covid tests in the Liverpool camp, I fancied them to beat Chelsea. The Blues’ confidence will have taken a big hit after conceding that last minute equaliser vs Brighton and then Lukaku goes and drops his bombshell the next day. However, now that Liverpool are facing a covid crisis, I am slightly favouring the hosts.

I think Chelsea have enough speed up top to hurt Liverpool. News broke today that Lukaku was dropped from the squad so Tuchel will have to go with pace in attack. Spurs could have scored 6 or 7 in that 2-2 draw a couple of weeks back, repeatedly getting in behind the Liverpool defence. The Reds then put in a laboured performance against a thrown together Leicester side and they have now only kept 1 clean sheet in their last 5 away games in the EPL.

In these Covid times, it would obviously be preferable to wait and see what players are missing. I’m going to gamble that Liverpool are missing at least one key player (hopefully Fabinho) and given both sides’ inability to keep a clean sheet recently (Chelsea have 1 in 7 games), Chelsea to win and both teams to score is the recommended bet.

Chelsea vs Liverpool Betting Tips: Chelsea win/both teams to score @ 15/4 (Hills)

Dave Stevos

 

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