Sports Betting Weekly

Liverpool v Chelsea

When: Wednesday, 21 January 2015 @ 01:45 (FINISHED)
Where: Anfield
Having both seen off opposition that will likely feature in next year’s Premier League, two of the top division’s current heavyweights do battle on Tuesday night as Liverpool welcome Chelsea to Anfield.

With the Blues having emerged as worthy 2-1 winners the last time the two sides met in the Premier League, there’s no doubt that the match will take on extra significance for Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers, as he bids to prove that his side have not fallen irredeemably far behind the league leaders following the departure of star striker, Luis Suarez, in the summer transfer window.

The good news for the home side is that their new golden boy, Raheem Sterling, re-joined the squad at the weekend following his mid-season break in Jamaica – and the Reds could yet be further boosted by the return of Daniel Sturridge, who has been out since August with a thigh injury.

Should either or both of those two players feature against Chelsea, there can be no doubt that the home side will have more of a cutting edge than we saw from them against Sunderland last weekend – where only four of their 21 attempts hit the target – which might make them a slightly better prospect for returns at 12/5 for the win than Chelsea, who are again odds-on favourites at 13/10.

That being said, with Jose Mourinho naming a strong side in the Blues previous League Cup clash with Derby – where they ultimately ran out as 3-1 winners following the sending off of Jake Buxton – the visitors will still take some beating, and two clean sheets following their 5-3 mauling at Spurs would suggest that the Portuguese has since forced them to work extra hard on their defending.

With that in mind, it might be worth looking into the 11/10 on “both teams to score – no” or the under 2.5 goals market at 21/10 as – knowing that there’s always the return leg at Stamford Bridge to come – it is unlikely that Mourinho will go all guns blazing and will instead probably opt to stifle Liverpool by playing a version of the tactics that secured their famous 2-0 win at Anfield last season.

Should this prove the case, it will be up to the hosts to break down Chelsea’s stubborn defence and one man who is starting to suggest he might have the talent to do that is Lazar Markovic. The Serbian looked off the pace in the first half of the season, but his recent performances have suggested he’s finding his feet in England and he’ll be available at fairly big odds to grab the first goal.

If you fancy Chelsea to nick the game on the counter, however, it is worth noting that their leading marksman, Diego Costa, was rested for the win over Derby. Should his stand-in, Didier Drogba, again get the nod ahead of Loic Remy, it will perhaps require the thrust from midfield that out-of-favour Andre Schurrle provided in the previous round – and with the German mostly being confined to cup appearances this season, he could be another player that represents a good outside bet to find the net any time.