The 4:30pm Premier League kick-off on Sunday September 22nd is Chelsea v Liverpool, the clubs that are currently reigning champions in the Europa League and Champions League, respectively.
The match is previewed here by Will Reilly.
Chelsea v Liverpool is one of our upcoming ‘Double The Odds On First Goalscorer Bets’ matches…
Liverpool are top of the Premier League and are the only side with a 100% record after five matches of the new campaign. They have so far scored 15 goals in the league and conceded four.
They suffered their first blip of the season, though, when losing 2-0 in Italy to Napoli on Tuesday as their Champions League title defence began.
Chelsea also got off to a bad start in the Champions League on Tuesday, losing 1-0 at home to Valencia after dominating the match. Rubbing salt into the wound was an ankle injury sustained by Mason Mount, although he is “hopeful” of being fit for Sunday.
The sides have already met this season in the UEFA Super Cup on August 14, with the score being 1-1 after 90 minutes and 2-2 after extra-time. Liverpool eventually won a very entertaining match 5-4 on penalties.
Two wins and a draw in their last three league matches moved Chelsea up to sixth in the table ahead of this weekend. However, eleven goals conceded in those five matches offers a clue as to where their main concerns lie.
The return of Antonio Rüdiger last week certainly helped the defence, but he succumbed to a groin injury early in the second-half against Wolves and has joined a growing injury list at the Bridge (see Team News below).
Eleven goals scored in five league games so far this season shows that Chelsea haven’t had a problem finding the back of the net since their 4-0 loss at Man Utd on the opening weekend of the season.
That said, they failed to score against Valencia on Wednesday and, with all due respect, Liverpool are far stronger than the Spanish side. Chelsea’s young side is still very much at the ‘learning curve’ stage.
At the risk of irking via repetition, Liverpool won 14 of their last 15 games last season in all competitions and 18 of their last 24 (drawing five).
They lost just one Premier League game all season in 2018-19 (2-1 at Man City on Jan 3rd), winning 30 of their 38 matches. They won their last seven home league matches, scoring 23 goals and keeping five clean sheets.
This season, at Anfield they have beaten Norwich 4-1, Arsenal 3-1 and Newcastle 3-1, and have won 2-1 at Southampton and 3-0 at Burnley. Their defeat of Newcastle saw them extend their club record to 14 league wins in a row
Sadio Mané (12), Mo Salah (9) and Roberto Firmino (5) have scored 26 goals between them in Liverpool’s last 14 league games.
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEADS AT STAMFORD BRIDGE
Between 2000 and 2010 Chelsea won seven of ten meetings between the sides, losing two. However, since 2011 Liverpool have won four and drawn three of nine encounters.
In seven of the last eight meetings, both sides have scored and there has been just one 0-0 draw in 19 encounters this century. By contrast, only four of the last 16 encounters have produced over 2.5 goals.
Antonio Rüdiger (groin) is being assessed. N’Golo Kanté (ankle) may miss out again, while Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James are “fit but not match fit”, in the words of head coach Frank Lampard.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Achilles) is still undergoing rehab and will be out for at least another six weeks, while Marco van Ginkel (knee) is nearing a return from an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Emerson‘s injury picked up while on international duty was first said to be nothing serious, although he has since missed the Wolves and Valencia matches so it remains to be seen whether he will be available.
Mason Mount, who came off injured against Valencia with an ankle injury, is “hopeful” of being available for Sunday’s match.
Alisson is still recovering from a calf injury but is closing in on a return. Naby Keïta is now available, but Nathaniel Clyne (knee) is a long-term absentee. Divock Origi injured an ankle last Saturday against Newcastle and is being assessed.
VERDICT / TIPS:
Willian looked fairly sharp against Valencia on Tuesday and he may be good for a goal, too (16/5).
Both Teams To Score is also suggested, although it is a little short at 8/15
As it is a ‘Double The Odds On First Goalscorer Bets’ match with us, a nominated first scorer is Sadio Mané at 9/2, which seems a very fair price.