Reports of the Grim Reaper being spotted lurking around Stamford Bridge will make grim reading for a certain Portuguese manager ahead of tomorrow’s Halloween showdown between champions Chelsea and their visitors Liverpool.
Speculation abounds that defeat for Chelsea will spell the end of Jose Mourinho’s reign as boss of the Blues following a series of displays on the pitch as bad as the reports about the off-field shenanigans.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is well known for ruthless dealings with managers – no matter how successful they have been and Mourinho knows too well that performances and results have to change if he is to keep his job.
Big Match Stats
Chelsea’s recent form is shocking and Mourinho’s men have recorded the worst ever start to a Premier League having picked up only 11 points from their first ten games. They were bundled out of the League Cup on Tuesday (losing on penalties to Stoke) and online football tipsters point to some key factors.
Mourinho’s teams are built from the back and are renowned for their defensive capabilities and meanness. However, this Blues team are leaking an average of almost two goals a game and the 19 they have already conceded makes their defence the fourth worst in the EPL.
Combine this with their goal scoring average of 1.4 per game and such frailties may explain why the Champions have only won once in their last seven games.
The fact that Mourinho has lost six of his last 12 EPL games compared to losing the same number in his previous 64 matches in charge may also explain the uncertainty surrounding his future as the man to lead the Blues.
The perfect opponents?
But Liverpool could be the perfect opponents to turn the tide of opinion and kick-start their faltering defence of the title won so convincingly only a few months ago.
Liverpool haven’t beaten Chelsea in any of their last eight meetings (L4, D4) and have not won at Stamford Bridge since 2011.
They have drawn each of their last three EPL games and have managed to win only one of their last ten away matches (L4, D5) – and that was the season opener against Stoke.
The Red’s are weak in attack and they have the third worst goal scoring record in the EPL with just nine from 10 games – only West Brom and Watford have scored fewer.
Big men back
The injuries to their high profile strikers are well documented so Jurgen Klopp will be mightily relieved that Christian Benteke has recovered from a knee injury and is fit to play.
The big Belgian has scored 14 with his head since August 2012 – a joint highest record he shares with Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud – and Liverpool will also be able to welcome back stand-in skipper James Milner following his one match suspension.
Chelsea’s own big bothersome target man Diego Costa is still to be assessed following his rib injury, as too Pedro who is back in training.
By: Joe Cahal