CHELSEA are four points clear at the top of the Premier League ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Anfield, but there have been recent signs that they are not as invincible as they were earlier in the season.
Injuries to Diego Costa and Loic Remy have disrupted their attacking fluency and the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United was followed by the Blues needing a late penalty to see off struggling Queens Park Rangers at home last weekend.
Eden Hazard scored from the spot then, but failed from 12 yards away to Maribor on Wednesday night, as Chelsea squandered the chance to qualify from their Champions League group with two games to spare.
Jose Mourinho’s men are unlikely to rue that miss, but Maribor should have taken a 2-0 lead when Luka Zahovic missed from three yards out. It was another under-par display from Chelsea and Mourinho has been vocal in his unhappiness with the fans’ support and his players’ focus.
Still, his team will face Liverpool on a club record 16-match unbeaten start to a season and it’s clear the title favourites, trading at a high of 52-55 on Sporting Index’s 60 Championship Index, will be tough to beat.
Steven Gerrard will want no reminders of what happened in this tie last April. His slip that let in Demba Ba to score the opener in the 2-0 defeat that tore the league title out of their grasp was one of the most memorable images of the season.
Brendan Rodgers came in for heavy criticism for fielding a weakened team for the clash with Real Madrid on Tuesday. But the truth is his first XІ have not been good enough this season and his ‘reserve’ side played well enough in that 1-0 defeat to merit consideration for inclusion tomorrow.
The likes of Gerrard and Raheem Sterling will be fresh and I can see Liverpool getting something from this game. We saw when Chelsea went to Man United two weeks ago that they were happy to settle for a point – certainly they weren’t inclined to push for the second goal that would have killed the game.
Both sides aren’t firing on all cylinders at the moment and I can’t see many goals in this one. You can sell total goals at 2.65 with Sporting Index and that’s advised.
Draw at the 5/2 available
Sell total goals at 2.65 with Sporting Index