As all the action from the third round of the League club came to a halt on Wednesday, the focus was firmly on Liverpool going up against Chelsea, even though barely 24 hours had passed since Jose Mourinho over at Manchester United got dumped out of the cup by former protegee Frank Lampard and his well drilled Derby County side.
On Wednesday night at Anfield, the Blues came out on top thanks to one of those phenomenal solo goals that come about just once in a lifetime. With the scores locked at 1-1 and the game seemingly heading for spot kicks, Eden Hazard picked up the ball in an area of the pitch well away from goal. However, within a matter of seconds, the diminutive Belgian had cut the Liverpool backline to ribbons, waltzing past three players before unleashing a curler beyond the hapless Simon Mignolet in goal.
The late win sets up nicely for the Premier league clash this weekend between these two top sides, this time at Stamford Bridge. With both teams expected to pick relatively stronger sides than the cup clash midweek, let’s look at two areas where you can punt big and pocket some serious winnings.
Goals win games, and Hazard has made it a habit of scoring goals over the years against the Reds. Granted, he usually reserves his best form for the trips to Anfield, but he also scored that magnificent equalizer at the Bridge a few years ago when Chelsea eventually ran out 2-1 winners. Liverpool’s style of play under Klopp emphasises a bit more on attack than defence, although the reds seem to have sorted their defensive frailties out and shored up quite well since the purchase of Van Dijk this January.
Having said that, Hazard has made a flying start to the season and seems to enjoy playing under Sarri’s possession-based style of football. With the Belgian playmaker looking in fine form since the World Cup, there’s no ruling out the possibility of Liverpool feeling his wrath twice in the same week.
If you’re looking for a safe hedge this weekend, you could do a lot worse than banking on a score draw. Both these teams have managers who favor a highly attacking approach, and are laden with some of the league’s best attacking players. With most of the top billed stars rested for the midweek clash and chomping at the bit to be unleashed, this should be a great game laden with goals galore for the neutrals. Liverpool’s defeat at their own ground in the cup will probably spur them on more than usual, with the usual hostile reception the Reds receive at Stamford Bridge adding to the high stakes here.
Liverpool will be keen to preserve their perfect premier League record this season, but come up against one of the few teams who look like they could go toe to toe with them. With both teams mirroring each other in the fact that their attacking prowess is slightly offset by minor defensive chinks in the armor, this should shape up to be a game filled with goals.