CHELSEA host Liverpool in Super Sunday's mouthwatering showpiece from Stamford Bridge. We asked Tom Love (@TomLove_18) to source the best bets.
Chelsea v Liverpool | Sunday 22nd September 2019, 16:30 | Sky Sports
This game is a conundrum.
Liverpool, top of the Premier League with a perfect record, victorious in their last 14 domestic fixtures to be exact, travel to a Chelsea side undefeated in their last 11 at Stamford Bridge. The odds favour the Reds and rightly so. A side with 14 straight wins available at odds-against? You’d be mad not to back it, wouldn’t you?
Well, I’m not sure it’s that cut and dry.
The last two Premier League meetings between these two Liverpool have been in their pomp. However, on both occasions they’ve gone to the Bridge and failed to win.
Chelsea are seemingly going to be one of the most watchable teams this season. They’ve scored the third most goals in the league but only Norwich have leaked more at the other end. Individual errors, shabby set-piece defending and a lack of experience seem to be to their detriment.
Kurt Zouma has struggled after a decent campaign with Everton last season, Cesar Azpilicueta has shown flaws that we’re not usually accustomed to as well.
Going forward though they have been a joy. Frank Lampard saw his side fail to score on opening day at Old Trafford but it wasn’t for the want of trying with the capital club striking the woodwork twice. Since then they’ve scored twice against Sheffield United, one against Leicester, three against Norwich and five v Wolves.
Tammy Abraham has been the main man and he’s taken hold of the opportunity given to him by Lampard. He’s on seven goals already and will be full of confidence after a hat-trick at Molineux. This will no doubt be his toughest test though, up against the colossal Virgil Van Dijk.
Mason Mount is pretty much ruled out, which is a huge blow for the hosts. He’s been superb thus far and carried on his form from last season at Derby. It will be interesting to see if Lampard opts for Ross Barkley after what happened on Thursday night, or whether he will go with a defensive trio of Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and N'Golo Kante in order to stifle Liverpool by packing the midfield.
Liverpool's threat from the flanks
I say stifle, if anything that could play into the visitors hands.
Liverpool have proven themselves to be an almighty difficult team to set up against but many have pointed out that their midfield is probably their weakness. In my eyes, without the unfit Naby Keita, there’s not a real ball carrier in that trident, no real thrust or running power. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is returning to fitness and he could provide some of that.
But Liverpool do a lot of their damage out wide, the two full-backs recorded so many assists last season and the likes of Sadio Mane and Mo Salah drifting out wide has been a destructive feature.
Maybe teams would be best stopping the width at source, it’s easier said than done though. The sheer adaptability of Jurgen Klopp’s side could see them win the title.
The betting angles
From a betting perspective, this is one of the hardest to find value in. The goal line is set at 3.00 and it’s not really something I’m willing to go overs on, needing four goals to make profit isn’t my bag.
The 90 minute prices are probably about fair, but I’m not enamoured with the evens on Liverpool away from home, even though I think they’re the most likely winners. I'd rather have a smaller stakes play on the 7/2 that the Reds win by a one-goal margin. They won by this margin at Southampton and it occurred in 6/14 away wins last term. I just think that real need to win could see the Merseysiders edge it.
I rarely delve into the players passes market but purely from a stats point of view there’s one bet I can’t really turn down. Andy Robertson has averaged 81.60 passes per-game so far this season, more than any of his teammates. He gets a lot of the ball for a full-back so it’s no real surprise.
SkyBet go 4/5 that the Scotsman completes 60+ passes at Stamford Bridge, and even though this figures could be skewed slightly due to the quality of opposition they’ve faced, I do think there’s still some juice in it.
To give a more thorough view, he completed 66.60 passes per-game on average last season so there’s some history there. For whatever reason, 40% of Liverpool’s play has come down Robertson’s left-hand side compared to 27% in the middle third and 33% on the right. That makes sense when looking at the left backs pass volume.