The Big One – Liverpool V Chelsea
Live on BT Sport 1 20:00 GMT
Liverpool have a positive record against Chelsea having won 77 of their 176 meetings. Chelsea have won 61 times and they have drawn 38 of them.
Liverpool recent record is also quite good over Chelsea having won 2 and drawn 2 of their last 4 meetings including in this seasons reverse fixture which saw Liverpool take all 3 points from Stamford Bridge following a wonder goal to win it from their captain Jordan Henderson.
Liverpool will be boosted by the return of Sadio Mane from the African Cup of Nations following his penalty miss which resulted in Senegal being dumped out of the competition by Cameroon. What state of mind and the players recovery time will be key to seeing if he makes the line up for this game but it is believed Liverpool flew him home Sunday by private jet. Liverpool’s magician Coutinho looks back to full fitness now following his long spell out and Joel Matip is available again. Nathaniel Clyne is a doubt with his rib injury and England 2016 player of the year Adam Lallana faces a late fitness test following a knock in his last game, but should be fine according to Klopp.
❓ Sadio Mane…
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 30, 2017
Chelsea have a clean bill of health travelling up to Anfield and star striker Diego Costa is back in the good books and scoring goals following his training ground bust up with his manager and staff. Chelsea are unbeaten at Anfield in their last 4 appearances and a fit squad could help them maintain that record here.
Shockingly Liverpool have won only 1 of their last 6 games and that was a F.A Cup 3rd round replay win over lower league Plymouth Argle 1-0, they have since crashed out of both domestic cups and are struggling in the league too. Wolves were the most recent visitors to Anfield and they beat the reds 2-1. Prior to this week Liverpool had not lost a game at Anfield in over a year they are now look like they may lose there 3 times in a week.
Chelsea in contrast to Liverpool’s recent form have been in great form winning 5 of their last 6, losing only to high flying Tottenham a few weeks ago. Last time out they managed a 4-0 over Brentford in the F.A Cup, in their last 4 games in all competitions they have scored 13 goals and only conceded 1.
Despite their poor recent form Liverpool are still in the top 4 and still have an outside chance at making a run for the title but for that to happen a major increase in form is needed immediately. A win here could see them move back into 2nd place and cut the gap to 7 points.
Chelsea are sitting pretty at the top of the table looking down with a 8 point gap to their nearest rivals, however this could be a make or break week for the Blues because not only do they travel to Anfield to face Liverpool but they are also playing host to 2nd place Arsenal at the weekend. 2 wins could see them clear, 2 defeats could see the chasing pack right on their heels.
Liverpool can be backed @13/8 to take the 3 points with Bet365, the draw is @2/1 and Chelsea can be backed @23/10 with a few firms.
As a Liverpool fan I would love to say I fancy a home win but I think Chelsea are a big price @23/10 so as a betting man that is where my money would be going.