Chelsea v Liverpool – Preview

It is less than five months since Olivier Giroud’s goal at Stamford Bridge proved decisive as Chelsea beat Liverpool 1-0 and a similarly close game on Saturday is not out of the question.

Jurgen Klopp’s team have raced out of the traps and have won their first six Premier League games of the season, although they were knocked out of the EFL Cup by Chelsea on Wednesday.

The Reds did win 2-1 at Tottenham a fortnight ago but a match against Maurizio Sarri’s team looks set to be even harder. A draw is available at 3.45 with a 1-1 final scoreline priced at 7.25.

Blues a step behind Liverpool

The former Napoli coach has worked wonders in a short period of time with the Blues and, although they are not the finished article, as was shown in Sunday’s goalless draw at West Ham, they already look more than capable of earning a top-four finish and a return to the Champions League next season.

Sarri said last weekend that his side were “a step behind” Liverpool, as Klopp had been in charge at Anfield for almost three years while he only succeeded Antonio Conte less than three months ago.

However, the players appear to have adapted well to his methods and they have got the balance right between attacking vigour, only Manchester City have scored more league goals than them so far this season, and defensive steel – they have only conceded two goals in their last five matches in all competitions. Under 1.5 goals in the match appears good value at 4.55.

Goals to be at a premium

A lack of goals from Giroud and Alvaro Morata remains a concern although Eden Hazard, who scored a superb goal at Anfield in midweek, Pedro (10.00 to score the first goal) and Willian have all chipped in recently.

Liverpool can score goals from all areas of the pitch and have looked potent in attack again this season despite Mo Salah’s largely disappointing form.

Sadio Mane, 7.50 to score the first goal, and Roberto Firmino, have looked sharp in the opening weeks of the campaign while they have kept four clean sheets already.

Liverpool do not have a great record at Stamford Bridge, where they have lost 39 of the 75 league games between the clubs, winning on 20 occasions.

Draw seems the likely outcome

Before their narrow defeat in May though, the Reds had won two and drawn one of their three previous visits to Chelsea but goals are often scarce in this fixture and another tight encounter seems certain on Saturday.

These two teams look set to be Manchester City’s main challengers for the Premier League title and a loss for either team could be crucial, even at this early stage of the campaign.

Wednesday’s EFL Cup clash at Anfield between the two teams does not appear to have much bearing on this fixture, as both managers opted to make a raft of changes to their side.

A draw would seem to be most likely scenario which would mean, aside from delighting Manchester City, both teams would remain unbeaten after seven matches.