In this weekend’s preview for Chelsea v Liverpool read up on my prediction along with analysis for the match in week 19 of the Premier League. Included with each match preview are statistics and betting odds to help with your own predictions.
The week 19 Premier League Predictions have been posted, so go read up on my EPL picks for the weekend. You can use this preview for your own information or for any betting that you may do which can be done from any of the Premier League Betting Links here on the blog. Be sure to also check out the Premier League TV Schedule and 2013-14 Premier League Table.
I will admit from the start that I’m quite torn about the outcome of this match. Chelsea has become a team devoid of creativity and only set out there to do a job. Mourinho continues to leave one of the most creative players in the league, Juan Mata, on the bench and instead plays players like Mikel because of his defensive capabilities.
Watching Chelsea matches has become a tedious task with their focus on getting Italian style 1-0 or 2-1 wins instead of going for it. On the other side of the pitch will be Liverpool’s Luis Suarez, by far the most exciting player in the league at the moment. I can already foresee the Blues midfielders and defenders kicking lumps out of Suarez while the Chelsea sideline whinge about him “going over too easily.” It’s bound to happen.
Liverpool will certainly be going out there for the win, but the unfortunate part is that they will also need to be very careful that they don’t get caught out by a counter attack. After all, Chelsea do still have attacking quality, as seen in their 1-0 win over Swansea on Thursday.
Looking at the statistics from Chelsea’s win the focus on defensive solidity with rapid counter attacks is fairly obvious. Chelsea allowed Swansea to take just 8 shots and only one of those was on target, yet the Swans had 55% of the possession. To show that Chelsea is not all defense they did get 19 shots, with seven of those on target. Their one goal came from some individual skill on a counter attack with Eden Hazard’s excellent shot from the top of the box. Chelsea’s passing is a sign that points more to this tactic of absorb and defend with just 74% pass completion.
Liverpool played well against Manchester City despite having 48% possession. They took 12 shots with five on target and completed 88% of their passes. They really should have had a second goal when Raheem Sterling was wrongly flagged for offsides. This was a game changing point of the match that could have led to a Liverpool win.
I’m predicting a low scoring draw for this one. It is certainly a match that could go either way, after all, Liverpool has lost in away matches against both Arsenal and Manchester City this season while Chelsea drew 0-0 away to Arsenal and beat Manchester City at home. This should give Chelsea the edge, being the home team and being undefeated at home this season.
Liverpool are still without Steven Gerrard, Luis Enrique, and Daniel Sturridge through injury. They cannot play Victor Moses against his parent club and John Flanagan is questionable due to his recent injury.
On the Chelsea side they will be without Ramires, serving a one match ban for five yellow cards, but otherwise have a full squad.
Another point to note is that Jose Mourinho is still unbeaten at Stamford Bridge and this will be a point of extreme pride for him. I can definitely see him setting out with a very defensive mindset and having his players play very aggressively and focus on physically dominating the midfield, much like he did against Arsenal.
Betting Odds: Chelsea win: 2.09-2.15; Draw: 3.42-3.67; Liverpool win: 3.51-3.70
Form: Chelsea (W, W, L, W, D, W) Liverpool (L, W, W, W, W, L)
Prediction: Chelsea 1 – 1 Liverpool
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