Liverpool versus Chelsea is always a highly competitive fixture, and with the Blues sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League and Liverpool struggling badly for form, this match on Saturday promises to be as enthralling as ever.
Chelsea last visited Anfield back in April when their 2-0 victory effectively ended Liverpool’s chances of winning the league, an awful slip from captain Steven Gerrard gifting Demba Ba the opening goal. Brendan Rodgers and his men will clearly be out for revenge here, but without their former talisman Luis Suarez, and with Daniel Sturridge only half-fit at best, do they really have a hope of getting the better of a Chelsea side who are unbeaten in all competitions this season?
One thing we do predict in this one is plenty of goals. Liverpool have long had problems at the back, but last season they were able to score enough goals for the cracks to be papered over to an extent. This season their defensive fragility is being truly exposed, however. Chelsea, meanwhile, might have a reputation for solidity in defence, but it is telling that they have conceded at least one goal in all five of their away games in the league this season. With both managers likely to send their teams out to attack from the start, goals look very much on the cards.
The return to fitness of Diego Costa is a massive boost to Jose Mourinho, his side having lacked potency in the Spaniard’s absence. With Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard and Oscar all possessing creative ability in spades, we think the Blues will have more than enough to expose the home side’s defensive gaps and mistakes. The question is whether Liverpool can muster enough chances of their own to keep themselves in the game.
As mentioned, we anticipate an open game with plenty of chances, and this makes Ladbrokes’ betting offer for the match a perfect fit. The bookie are offering to refund losing correct score, first goalscorer and scorecast bets as a free bet of up to £25 if both teams score in the game. Note that free bet stakes are not returned with any winnings, but other than that this is a straightforward offer that does exactly what it says on the tin.
In attempting to make the most of the Ladbrokes offer we would suggest two options look more appealing than most. Firstly, backing Costa to get the opening goal of the game at odds of 4/1 represents decent value in our eyes given the way he has taken to life in the Premier League. He’s not the kind of player who can be bullied and with the creative masters in the Chelsea midfield able to pick out that killer pass in the final third, we feel Costa is the man most likely to open the scoring.
If you would prefer to go for a correct score bet, we would suggest backing a repeat of April’s result, 2-0 to Chelsea, at enticing odds of 10/1. Given that we are supremely confident that the Blues will score, a Liverpool goal might blow this bet out of the water, but it would at least give you a refund of your stake. The choice, of course, is yours.