Slippery Slope Continues For Liverpool!
Liverpool v Chelsea
What a difference a summer can make! Unbeaten Chelsea look to pile more misery on Liverpool in this Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.
After fielding a weakened team in midweek against Real Madrid, Brendan Rodgers will be praying that his first choice XI can justify his decision by taking at least a point from this Saturday’s game. The Reds have now won only one – a late comeback against Swansea in the Capital One Cup – of their last five in all competitions and have failed to score in four of those games.
Raheem Sterling remains the club’s top scorer in the Premier League with three goals, but hasn’t found the back of the net since September. Mario Balotelli’s only goals for the club have come against Ludogorets in the Champions League and Swansea in the League Cup.
Chelsea, by contrast, are yet to taste defeat this season and have won 12 of their 16 games played in all competitions. Jose Mourinho also made a number of changes to his starting XI in midweek, but in different circumstances and with a much more satisfactory result; the 1-1 draw in Maribor proving enough to secure qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League with two group games still to play.
Despite missing a few back-to-back games for the Blues Diego Costa remains the club’s top scorer with nine goals from eight games, but has been surpassed in the Premier League top scorer standings by Sergio Agüero. Defensively Mourinho’s men have kept only one clean sheet in their last six games in all competitions.
The rested Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling, Mario Balotelli and Jordan Henderson will be among those expected to return to the starting XI this weekend. Kolo Toure impressed against Madrid in midweek and may have done enough to retain his place in the team, while Daniel Sturridge, Mamadou Sakho, Jose Enrique and John Flanagan remain sidelined.
Chelsea can recall Diego Costa, Thibaut Courtois, Oscar and Gary Cahill to their side but will be without the injured Loic Remy and John Obi Mikel.
Chelsea’s win in this fixture last season, following Steven Gerrard’s now infamous slip, effectively ended Liverpool’s title challenge.
It also means that, following a run of four successive Premier League wins against the Blues, Brendan Rodgers’ side have failed to win any of the last four meetings.
Since returning to Chelsea for his second tenure Jose Mourinho has won six and lost none of eight games against last season’s top four.
Based on anything and everything that we have seen so far this season, the 11/10 about a Chelsea win this weekend is huge. I can make no logical case for Liverpool taking anything from this game.
If he starts, as he is expected to do, then 11/10 about Diego Costa finding the back of the net at anytime is a good bet at odds of 11/10, while the 4/1 about the Brazilian-Spaniard scoring first is also appealing when considering Boylesports’ Double Bubble promotion.