Liverpool’s aura of invincibility has been shattered by Watford and hands them a second defeat on the bounce away from home, following their first leg struggles at Atletico Madrid.
However, Chelsea haven’t exactly been making waves and might not be best placed to capitalize on any weaknesses.
They’ve won just two of their last eight in all competitions, with one of those over Championship outfit Hull, while they suffered defeat when these two last met at this venue back in September.
The Blues have actually picked up more points on the road than at Stamford Bridge in the league this term and would be down in 10th in a table based upon home results alone.
They were brutally exposed there a week ago by Bayern Munich in Europe and haven’t experienced the best of results against top-quality opponents this season, going W1-D3-L5 at the Bridge against the Big Six, Leicester, Bayern, Ajax and Valencia.
Jurgen Klopp’s men last lost back-to-back matches back in January last year, having gone down 2-1 away at both Man City and Wolves, and the German has been known to rotate his squad for cup action this season to prioritize the defence of Liverpool’s European crown and pursuit of league glory.
In fact, he hasn’t taken this tournament all that seriously since arriving on these shores, winning just five of 13 FA Cup matches as three of these came over Exeter, Plymouth and Shrewsbury.
This fifth-round fixture is the furthest Liverpool have gone in the FA Cup in five seasons under Klopp, and it remains to be seen whether he changes that approach for more difficult assignment like this, but after the weekend’s display at Watford, he may want to take one or two players out in any case.
The likes of Adrian, Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi amongst others will be itching for some minutes, so we can understand why a likely weakened Liverpool are the bigger price.
Liverpool Draw No Bet
Both sides have their injury concerns coming into this one. Frank Lampard is without Tammy Abraham and this fixture probably comes too soon for N’Golo Kante, Christian Pulisic, and Callum Hudson-Odoi, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek looks set to play once more with the reserves before he makes his first senior appearance of the season and Andreas Christensen is suffering with a niggle.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are missing Jordan Henderson and have doubts surrounding James Milner, Joe Gomez and Naby Keita.
Whereas some rotation looks certain to leave Klopp with a strong bench to influence the game, the Blues might suffer without some of their usual firepower.
The hosts have been far too poor at Stamford Bridge this term to back and with Liverpool odds-against draw no bet, they look like the side worth getting behind.
ALL ABOVE PRICES ARE CORRECT AS OF 12:30 02/03/2020 AND ARE SUBJECT TO FLUCTUATIONS
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