Wednesday 11th May. 8PM. Sky Sports 2
Two years ago, a late season clash between Liverpool and Chelsea provided one of the biggest moments in living memory. While Wednesday’s showdown between two great Premier League sides won’t carry as much significance this time, it’s still a huge fixture for both teams.
While Jurgen Klopp’s men will want to bring down the curtain on another season at Anfield in style, the champions will want to show some fight to guarantee a top half finish. With bragging rights on offer too, it should be a thrilling battle to say the least.
But who will claim the victory? There’s only one way to find out.
Liverpool To Build Confidence Before Basel?
Klopp has done a pretty impressive job since taking over from Brendan Rodgers and could yet see his side qualify for next year’s Europa League through their league finish. Beating Chelsea would go a long way to helping.
However, the Merseysiders will be more focused on gaining momentum ahead of their forthcoming Europa League final against Sevilla. Winning that would land them in next year’s Champions League, and the Reds will be desperate to enter the final on the back of good form, and will be hoping to see the likes of Daniel Sturridge take advantage of a relatively poor Chelsea, especially as John Terry is suspended.
Liverpool are certainly in good form at home, having not lost since facing Manchester United in January. Meanwhile, a 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge during the early weeks of Klopp’s reign will provide another source of optimism.
The Reds don’t need to win, but they’ll want to end their home campaign with a positive result against one of their modern rivals. Even if a couple of players are rested, the hosts will put in a big performance.
Blues Praying For Season End
Despite noticeable improvements under interim boss, the champions will be desperate to see the back of a disastrous 2015/16. The weekend loss at Sunderland was yet another low point for the Blues, but they’ll be eager to bounce back in style before forming a guard of honour for Leicester on Sunday. But that will be a lot easier said than done.
The Blues had shown a rare glimpse of industry against Spurs, and will be hoping to channel those energies again at Anfield. If Eden Hazard can perform as we know he can, then the Stamford Bridge outfit will certainly have a chance. Meanwhile, the quality of Willian and Diego Costa will ensure that the visitors carry a threat.
Chelsea do look vulnerable at the back, though, as is underlined by their record of 51 goals conceded. The absence of Terry will certainly make a difference too, and the rest of their unit will need to be at its best if it wants to come away with a third successive league victory at Anfield.
Points might not count for as much as they would have in previous times, but this is still a massive fixture. Let’s hope it lives up to the billing.
Liverpool v Chelsea Betting
With home advantage on their side, Liverpool are considered favourites at 19/20 with Bet365. Alternatively, Chelsea can be backed at 14/5 while the draw is available at 3/1.
Tottenham aside, Chelesea haven’t looked up for the fight this term. That’s not something you can ever accuse a Klopp side of, and that could make a world of difference.
Liverpool won’t be distraught if they lose, but it would harm their confidence. With this in mind, we’re backing them to make a fast start and take a lead before the break.
One player that’s really put in a shift in recent weeks is James Milner. The former Manchester City man has played a starring role since taking on the armband temporarily, and we’re backing him to end his first year at Anfield with a bang.
Depending on who else is on the pitch, the England man could be a great shout for penalties too. Either way, 9/2 on a goal has to be worth a punt.