The Premier League meeting between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield at 17.30 GMT on Saturday is already looking like one of the key fixtures in the race to finish second behind Manchester City.
The defending champions and 6/5 favourites with William Hill have strengthened the squad that won the league last season by 14 points from Manchester United.
New UK members only | Min. bet: £10 | Wagering: 1x | Odds: ½ or bigger | Max. bonus: 2x £15 free bets | Valid: 30 days | Full T&Cs apply | 18+ | BeGambleAware.org
What’s at Play?
Liverpool (2019) and Chelsea (2021) are the last two English teams to win the Champions League. With the two Manchester clubs, they look good things to finish in the top four.
City have bought Jack Grealish for £100 million and will probably buy Harry Kane before the end of the current transfer window. The other three clubs are playing for second place so Saturday’s match in Liverpool is a true six pointer.
The winning team not only pick up three points, they prevent their opponents adding to their tally. There is a gap in quality and the odds between what is now the ‘Big Four’ and the other 16 clubs in the Premier League.
Teams like Leicester, Arsenal and Tottenham will probably have to settle for fighting over the scraps and qualifying for the Europa League, for all its potential drawbacks. .
Dropping points at home to a fellow Champions League contender would be a major blow for Liverpool even in the first two weeks off the season. The fixtures have scheduled a significant encounter early in the campaign and the outcome will be key to rest of the season.
Liverpool Suffers Without its Fans
Liverpool were unbeaten at home when they won the 2019/20 Premier League title. However, they were massively affected by playing behind closed doors and lost six PL matches at home last season.
Liverpool still had a positive goal difference of 9 but that was the worst of the top six teams in the final table. That was surely a blip and any league losses at Anfield would be a surprise.
However, Chelsea are equipped to take all three points back to London on Saturday but avoiding defeat would probably be acceptable. The Draw is 12/5 with Betfred.
Both sides have made a perfect start to the 2021/22 season. They have picked up maximum points from two matches, scoring five goals and not conceding. That points to a low-scoring meeting this weekend. The first goal could be crucial.
Only City and United gave up fewer goals on the road than Chelsea last season. A solid defence formed the basis for beating Manchester City 1-0 in the final of the Champions League. That win will have done wonders for their confidence so they travel north with no apprehension.
T&Cs: New UK members only | Min. bet.: £20 at odds of 2.0+ | Free bet wagering: 1x at odds of 1.80+ | Max. bonus: £10 | Valid: 14 days | Full T&Cs apply | 18+ | BeGambleAware.org
First to Score
The first scorer market is dominated by Mo Salah and Romelu Lukaku. Their combined price to find the net first is just 6/4 with LV Bet and they are both about Evens to score at any time.
Correct score bettors may consider 1-1 at 5/1 with William Hill. The teams look evenly matched and a draw looks the most likely outcome. However, that means probably losing ground on City who are 2/9 with Betfred to beat Arsenal at home in the early fixture (12.30GMT).