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Chelsea v Liverpool
Chelsea appear the most likely challengers to Liverpool and Man City’s stranglehold and have a chance to make an early statement here. The Reds looked vulnerable on the opening day against a thrilling Leeds side and although most teams won’t be willing to risk going to-to-toe with Jurgen Klopp’s men, the Blues have the attacking talent to take the game to their visitors.
There ought to be goals in this one given the two side’s strengths and in fact, both teams have now scored in 13 of 18 head to heads in the league since 2011/12, including eight of nine at Stamford Bridge. Liverpool’s front three need no introduction, but Chelsea have kicked on from last term in this department.
Frank Lampard will hope for more in the coming months from Kai Havertz following a fairly subdued debut, though nonetheless he will have been pleased by the young German’s work rate. Meanwhile, Timo Werner in particular impressed despite not finding the net, still winning a penalty, and looks tailor made for the Premier League.
Both Teams To Score
Despite looking better on the front foot, Chelsea held the worst defensive record amongst the top half in the table last term and conceded at least 18 more than each of Liverpool and the Manchester duo.
It’s clear why Lampard has moved to bring in new faces, with defenders Ben Chillwell and Thiago Silva also arriving this summer and Rennes keeper Edouard Mendy apparently edging closer as well.
The Blues’ 3-1 win over Brighton saw the much-maligned Kepa Arrizabalaga heavily criticized after being beaten from distance yet again, with the Spaniard having now conceded more goals from outside the box (19) than any other keeper since his arrival in 2018.
He’s now let in nine of the past 13 shots on target that he’s faced, while the Seagulls should really have had another goal when Lewis Dunk inexplicably headed wide at the far post.
Timo Werner took a slight knock against Brighton but there appears no suggestion he’ll be unavailable here. However, Chillwell and Silva may or not feature yet, though even if they do there won’t have been a lot of time for Lampard to drill his new-look backline together.
The defensively suspect Marcos Alonso was given a torrid time by Brighton full-back Tariq Lamptey, and should he fill in at left-back again, expect Mo Salah to be licking his lips at the prospect of taking advantage following his opening day hat-trick.
Liverpool Draw No Bet
Liverpool have only lost one of 11 league meetings with Chelsea since 2015 (W5-D5-L1) as they’ve won each of the past three.
However, they did face the Blues twice in cup competitions, going all the way to penalties in the UEFA Super Cup and going down 2-0 here at the Bridge in the FA Cup. However, it’s worth noting that in the latter result, the likes of Adrian, Neco Williams, Adam Lallana, Curtis Jones, Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi all started that day.
Although Liverpool haven’t been at their best on the road in recent months, this coincided with the Premier League title effectively being wrapped up and no doubt they’ll revert to previous performance levels.