Chelsea’s winless streak at Stamford Bridge so far this season will likely stretch to a fourth match when they host early Premier League soccer leaders Liverpool on Sunday (11:30am ET).
Chelsea have won two of their three away matches in the league, including a 5-2 thrashing of Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend, but have been held to home draws by Leicester City and Sheffield United. They then fell to defeat at home to Valencia in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Frank Lampard’s side made the early running, with Tammy Abraham, their hat-trick hero against Wolves, having a couple of presentable chances. Willian also went close later in the half. After a shaky opening, Valencia found their feet and played a disciplined game largely to frustrate their hosts. Particularly after the interval, when Chelsea were largely limited to speculative efforts.
Valencia took the lead from a well-worked set-piece routine with just over a quarter-hour left to play. With the scoreline against them, Chelsea rallied and were given an excellent chance to level when a handball was called inside the Valencia area. Ross Barkley stepped up to take the resulting penalty, but only succeeded in firing it onto the top of the bar and over. Valencia held on for the win.
It was a disappointing start to Chelsea’s European campaign, but one which they will have little time to dwell on. The running to date suggests they are likely to be involved in a four-way scrap with Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Manchester United to take one of the two top-four places behind the likely top two of Manchester City and Sunday’s opponents Liverpool. They will want to keep pace there as much as possible through the early part of the Premier League soccer campaign.
Chelsea have played a very open style so far, with 11 goals scored and a further 11 conceded through their first five matches. Although they competed gamely with Liverpool in a 2-2 draw in the UEFA Super Cup last month, in which Liverpool triumphed on penalties, their approach does look tailor made for Jurgen Klopp’s side to cause them all kinds of problems in transition. Especially so if N’Golo Kante is unable to recover from injury in time to take part.
Like Chelsea, Liverpool made a losing start in the Champions League in midweek. The competition holders fell to a 0-2 defeat away to Napoli on Tuesday in an entertaining encounter in which rapid attacks back and forth were largely stymied by impressive defending at both ends. A questionable penalty call allowed Napoli to take the lead inside the final 10 minutes of play. They scored again in injury time to finish Liverpool off.
Back in domestic action, Liverpool will hope to keep their perfect start to the league campaign going with a sixth consecutive win this weekend. Norwich, Southampton, Arsenal, Burnley and Newcastle have all been seen off with varying degrees of ease by a side who have so far averaged three goals per match. It is still far too early for it really to mean anything, but they are five points clear of Man City at the top of the table.
Klopp’s side ran City extremely close last season, somehow failing to win the title despite accumulating a mammoth 97 points, the third-highest total in Premier League history. The pace was such that the five points City have dropped in the first five matches this time around represent nearly a third of the total points they dropped over the entirety of last season. In the face of such demanding competition, Liverpool have made the perfect kind of start to the campaign.
Their famed front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are already firing on all cylinders, with 10 goals between them. That fire power is likely to prove too much for a Chelsea side who have conceded over two goals per match so far, including four in defeat to Manchester United on the opening day. An away win in high-scoring encounter seems the most probable outcome on Sunday.
Our Preview’s Chelsea vs Liverpool Betting Picks & Predictions Verdict
Having studied the match odds from the American-focused bookmakers, this is our Chelsea vs Liverpool prediction and betting pick:
- Bet on Liverpool to win in a match featuring over 2.5 goals (see screenshot below) @ +150 with BetOnline. The same bet is +130 with Bovada.