Sunday’s game should be an absolute cracker and will be a real test of how both sides’ rebuilding is coming along.
Chelsea are clear favourites to take all three points at odds of 5/6 (Victor Chandler – £75 free betting) but young manager Andre Villas-Boas will be taking nothing for granted. The Reds did the double over John Terry’s side last season and also won at Stamford Bridge in 2008 so will arrive full of expectation rather than fear.
The sides have played each other with great regularity in recent years, with 13 cup meetings since 2005. Familiarity had certainly bred contempt under Benitez and Mourinho and whilst two new managers will be clashing for the first time it will certainly be a feisty encounter. The odds on there being a dismissal are around 5/2 and that could be well worth considering here.
Liverpool would draw level with their hosts if they are able to take all three points on Sunday (they would need to win by three goals to move above them). Both sides will feel they have something to prove after indifferent form in the past few weeks. Chelsea’s last home league match was the 5-3 mauling by Arsenal, whilst their opponents suffered a disappointing home draw against Swansea last time out.
Kenny Dalglish’s side have probably been better away from home than at Anfield this season and that will encourage people who like the look of odds of 7/2 (bet365 – £200 free bets) for a Liverpool win. Amazingly Chelsea have failed to keep a single clean sheet at home all season so both sides to score at 4/5 looks a great bet. However, after the Arsenal result, there is a chance that the naturally attacking Villas-Boas will curb Chelsea’s offensive style in an attempt to stem the flow of goals.
This game is sure to be enjoyable to watch though and who would bet against a resurgent Fernando Torres scoring against his former club? He is 13/8 (Boylesports) to score anytime and with Juan Mata providing the ammunition that looks interesting.