The Saturday lunchtime match in the English Premier League sees Chelsea taking on Liverpool at Stamford Bridge. A match between these sides always gains headlines but with defending champions Chelsea struggling for form and Liverpool looking to adapt to new manager Jurgen Clop’s tactics, the focus has never been larger.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is a man under pressure as his side have suffered their worst start ever to a Premier League season. Eleven points from their opening 10 matches sees Chelsea sit in 15th place, 11 points behind leaders Manchester City. They go into Saturday’s match having only won one of their last seven matches in all competitions and Mourinho knows that his side must start winning matches. One positive for Mourinho and his side is their recent record against Liverpool in which they are unbeaten in the last eight meetings between the sides. Chelsea look set to be without striker Diego Costa who has a rib injury and Branislav Ivanovic and Thibaut Courtois both remain sidelined. Mourinho and Klopp have faced each other before with Klopp getting the better of Mourinho in the Champions League when the duo were managers of Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid respectively. Borussia Dortmund picked up four points from their two group meetings with Real, before dumping them out in the semi-finals with a 4-3 win on aggregate. Another win on Saturday will increase the already high amount of pressure on Mourinho as he faces the first real crisis of his managerial career.
Liverpool come into Saturday’s matched buoyed by the first victory of Klopp’s reign, courtesy of their League Cup win over Bournemouth in mid-week. Klopp gave game time to academy players Cameron Brannigan and Connor Randall in the midweek clash with Bournemouth, but he is expected to revert back to more experienced players for Saturday’s match. Liverpool have been struggling to score in recent weeks, due in part to injuries to players such as Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings. Klopp will hope that Christian Benteke will be fit to lead the line on Saturday, despite the Belgian suffering with an ongoing knee issue. Against a Chelsea side who have already shipped 19 goals this season, Benteke will fancy his chances of adding to his Liverpool goal tally. Liverpool will look to Brazilian Roberto Firmino to provide their creative spark on Saturday. The summer signing has struggled to adjust to the pace of the English game but in recent weeks he has begun to show his full potential.
Meetings between the sides have historically been close affairs, with only one match in the last eight between them being settled by more than a single goal. Only one of Liverpool’s ten league matches this season have been decided by more than one goal so another close match is expected on Saturday.
Chelsea are the 2.1 (11/10) favourites for Saturday’s match with Liverpool available at 3.9 (29/10) and the draw 3.5 (5/2). The football tip for the Chelsea versus Liverpool match is the draw at 3.5 (5/2).
By: Scott McGlynn