PREMIER LEAGUE boffin Dan McCulloch (@danmcc84) shares his thoughts on Super Sunday’s clash between Chelsea and Liverpool from Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea v Liverpool | Sunday 6th May 2018, 16:30 | Sky Sports
Just a couple of weeks ago, the Champions League places appeared to have been decided, with Chelsea destined to miss out.
However, neither Tottenham or Liverpool have enjoyed great league results in recent weeks, giving Antonio Conte’s men some hope of entering Europe’s most famous competition next term. Unfortunately for the Italian, I expect Liverpool to dash those hopes on Sunday afternoon.
Currently Chelsea are a best price of 5/4, with Liverpool available at 12/5. Factoring in home advantage, that suggests the two sides are evenly matched, which certainly isn’t the case in my view.
Chelsea aren’t Liverpool’s equals
Liverpool may only be six points ahead of Chelsea, but Expected Points tables suggest this should be nearer 12. Liverpool have scored 20 more goals than their Sunday hosts and I simply feel they are a better side.
Last week, Chelsea went to Swansea, the league’s most impotent side. The Swans have only managed 27 goals all season and have had 16 shots on-target fewer than anyone else. Despite this, in the second-half they got themselves in good positions on numerous occasions.
They didn’t have the ability to take advantage of the space they were afforded by the Chelsea backline but that certainly won’t be the case with Liverpool here.
Jurgen Klopp has rested Sadio Mane, Mohammed Salah and Roberto Firmino on occasions prior to European games but given that the Champions League final is not for another three weeks, I do not expect that to be the case here. The Roma game may have taken a little out of them but 12/5 (SkyBet) on an away win still seems far too big to me.
This term, Chelsea have lost at home to Manchester City and Tottenham, drew 0-0 with Arsenal and secured a 1-0 home victory against Manchester United. None of this convinces me that 5/4 is a fair price on a home victory.
Liverpool are yet to beat a top-six opponent on their travels this season but their general record under Jurgen Klopp is pretty impressive. The German has lost just three of his 12 games away to other members of the Big Six and has won on both of his previous visits to Stamford Bridge with Liverpool.
As stated in my Saturday Premier League column this week, at this stage of the season I tend to look for bigger prices rather than handicaps so rather than keeping the draw onside and accepting a reduced price, I would rather back Liverpool outright at 12/5 with SkyBet.
Salah to score again
I also like the look of Mo Salah to score anytime at 11/8 with Winner. The Egyptian superstar has had quite a poor week by his exceptional standards – missing a sitter against Stoke last weekend before a fairly anonymous performance in Rome.
It’s therefore worth remembering that he’s scored in 23 of the 34 league games he has played this season, including nine of his last 11. He’s also found the net away to Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City.
All of this leads me to believe that Winner’s price is too big and one I recommend you take advantage of.
Chelsea v Liverpool – Liverpool to win (12/5 SkyBet)
Chelsea v Liverpool – Mohammed Salah to score at anytime (11/8 Winner)