Liverpool vs Chelsea Prediction
Saturday 21st January 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we preview Chelsea’s visit to Anfield to face Liverpool. Both sides are in relatively poor form and struggling for consistency – who will prevail? Find out with Beat the Bookmaker’s Liverpool vs Chelsea prediction.
Liverpool vs Chelsea Prediction Match Overview
Liverpool come into this match in poor form; they are ninth in the table, with 28 points from 18 games. They did win their FA Cup third-round replay with Wolves in midweek thanks to a fantastic strike by Harvey Elliott. However, the Redmen have lost their last two games in the Premier League, away at Brentford and Brighton. The Brighton result was particularly a disaster, being hammered 3-0. Indeed, they have only won four of their last eight league games, sitting tenth in the form table over this period. This situation is a severe comedown for a club which challenged for the quadruple until the final moments of last season. They are still relatively strong at home, having picked up 20 points from 27 at Anfield this season. It isn’t the fortress it has been, in any case.
Chelsea coach Graham Potter’s woes were relieved slightly with a narrow 1-0 win at home to Crystal Palace, courtesy of a Kai Havertz goal. This victory was only their second in the last ten league games, putting them fifteenth in the form table with 9 points. To compound the misery, they have only won three of their ten games on their travels and have lost five. They have generally been struggling hugely, and their extensive injury and suspension list has played a part in this run. More than that, though, Potter’s ideas don’t seem to be translating to the pitch since he replaced Thomas Tuchel. They sit below Liverpool in the table, with an identical points tally, having played one more game. However, Chelsea do have an excellent record at Anfield since 2012, having won four, drawn six, and lost only two in all competitions. Therefore, despite their struggles, they have some hope in this fixture. It is the early afternoon fixture, so lethargy and a less intense game is a potential problem.
Liverpool vs Chelsea Team News
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Tsimkas, Nunez
Will Not Play: Van Dijk, Arthur, Jota, Firmino, Diaz
Might Not Play: Hall
Will Not Play: Mendy, Chilwell, W Fofana, James, Kante, Zakaria, Pulisic, Sterling, Broja, Felix
Liverpool: Alisson; Robertson, Gomez, Konate, Alexander-Arnold; Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago; Gakpo, Nunez, Salah
Chelsea: Arrizabalaga; Cucurella, Silva, Badiashile, Chalobah; Jorginho, Kovacic, Mount; Mudryk, Havertz, Ziyech
Liverpool vs Chelsea Prediction Analysis
Chelsea’s Problems Scoring
For whatever reason, Chelsea have struggled to score goals this season. Having played half of their games (19), they have only registered a paltry 22 goals. This statistic represents an average of 1.16 per game, which is not good enough for a side that, before every season, has a minimum ambition of qualifying for the Champions League. There has been much instability, with Todd Boehly taking over the club and splashing the cash. There was also Boehly’s sacking of Tuchel and replacing him with Potter. Therefore, Chelsea are finding it hard to create chemistry and patterns of play on the pitch. Their style looks like a mesh of many different ideas. Sometimes they try to play a possession game; other times, they seem more of a counter-attacking side. Variety is good, but this Chelsea team seem to be mixing their play through accident rather than design or a coherent plan. The signing of speedy young Ukrainian winger Mykhailo Mudryk could give them more unpredictability and creativity in attack. Anfield is a tricky place to score, however. Liverpool have conceded nine goals in 9 league games there this season. This record is not exceptional, but given Chelsea’s woes in the attacking third, it should present a problem. One ray of light for Chelsea is that Liverpool’s defensive leader Virgil Van Dijk is out.
The midfield contest should be interesting. Mudryk may be handed his debut, allowing Mount to move more centrally to his favoured central midfield position. Jurgen Klopp may line up with Fabinho, Thiago, and Henderson in the middle, though Elliott and Bajcetic are also options. Chelsea have their double pivot of Jorginho and Kovacic – Gallagher may be on the bench. However, it is not easy to second-guess Premier League managers. Liverpool will likely try to take the game to Chelsea and dominate from the start. They will keep doing what they know best and employing their counter-pressing style, giving the Blues no room to breathe when they have the ball. Jorginho is vital here if he can resist the press, as he can find spaces in the midfield to initiate attacks, feeding the ball to Mount, who can then get it to the wingers. Being calm in possession is the order of the day for Chelsea. Thiago, much like Jorginho, is a deep-lying technical playmaker for Liverpool. He will constantly buzz around Fabinho to obtain the ball from him and initiate attacks to release the wingers. Liverpool will undoubtedly put Chelsea under much pressure, spurred on by their expectant home crowd. We anticipate several combative performances in the midfield area from each team. Both teams’ midfielders must also cover their full-backs when they go forward.
Both teams have massive injury problems, particularly in attack. Liverpool are missing Jota, Firmino, and Diaz, and Nunez may be carrying a knock (though he should play). Chelsea have recent injuries to Pulisic and Sterling, and new loan signing Felix is suspended. They are also still missing James and Chilwell’s impetus from full-back. Forward Aubameyang has lost some of Potter’s trust. Hence, Havertz is still playing as a false 9, even if he is only sometimes effective there. They will look to Ziyech and Mudryk to use their pace, trickery, and shooting ability to try and attack Robertson and Alexander-Arnold. They need to get shots on goal themselves or create for the likes of Havertz and a forward-running Mount. Cucurella (or Hall) will also be expected to get forward and provide overlaps and crosses. As stated, Chelsea have problems scoring goals, so they must try to increase their attacking intensity. Liverpool will likely start with Nunez, new signing Gakpo, and Salah. The three must interchange and run the channels, as there is abundant pace in these three. They must close down the Chelsea defenders and try to win the ball high to engender chances on goal. As always, the midfield will provide a platform and defensive solidity. Thiago will initiate plays while the two roaming full-backs get forward. Alexander-Arnold and Robertson must link up with the front three and provide crosses for the tall Nunez and Gakpo to attack when they are in and around the box.
Beat the Bookmaker Liverpool vs Chelsea Prediction
This game is dangerous to predict, given that both teams look like shadows of the sides they were last season. It is hard to know what to expect from Liverpool these days. They have been beaten by teams they were dealing with previously. They are, however, much better at Anfield than away from home, having gained the bulk of their points there. Chelsea come into the game with massive problems. The win at home to Palace was arguably papering over the cracks. Their away form is poor, though they can take encouragement from the abovementioned record of only losing twice at Anfield in twelve games since 2012. This game could be a tight one between two teams low on confidence. Alternatively, Liverpool may smell blood, realise that Chelsea have been even worse than they have, and seek to take the initiative and pressure the Blues. We will back Liverpool because of their relatively good home record this season, allied to Chelsea’s problems and missing players.
Liverpool 2-1 Chelsea
Beat the Bookmaker Liverpool vs Chelsea Prediction – Liverpool Odds:
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