At the end of last season, it looked very much like this year’s Premier League title race would once again involve Manchester City and Liverpool, perhaps with Chelsea joining the two contenders to make it a three-horse race.

And while Manchester City remain in the hunt, albeit eight points behind the unexpected title challengers Arsenal, followed by Newcastle, Tottenham and Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea are nowhere near that top four.

In fact, you have to look down to eighth in the table to find Liverpool who have 42 points, 30 fewer than Arsenal (albeit with two fewer games played).

Chelsea though lie in 11th place on 38 points, having played a game more than Liverpool and having scored just 29 goals in the Premier League this season an average of just over 1 goal per game.

It is a huge and unexpected fall from grace for both teams after a pre-season period where some major investments in the transfer market were made, especially by Chelsea who have spent over £500m in the past 12 months alone.

The two teams drew 0-0 in January when they met at Anfield in a somewhat uninspiring game and that word is perhaps the best description of both team’s season so far.

In this preview of the big game, we are going to take a look at both teams, what has been the reasons for their drop off in success this season and then we will preview the game on Tuesday and give you our top tip for it, with odds courtesy of bet365 Sport.

So let’s begin our preview of the game with our look at Chelsea.

Chelsea v Liverpool Preview

  • Date – Tuesday 4th April
  • Kick Off – 8pm
  • Venue – Stamford Bridge
  • Referee – Anthony Taylor
  • VAR – Chris Kavanagh

Chelsea Team News

Caretaker manager Bruno Saltor revealed that he will have a similar squad to pick from as his predecessor Graham Potter had in the weekend’s loss to Aston Villa.

On the positive side, both Raheem Sterling and Wesley Fofana, who missed the game at the weekend, could be back in contention for the Liverpool game, or if not, they should be back at the weekend.

Cesar Azpilicueta and Armando Broja are both out with long-term injuries.

This will be Saltor’s first game in charge of Chelsea since Potter’s dismissal and while his chances of getting the job permanently seem slim (Julian Nagelsman, the former Bayern Munich head coach is the clear favourite with the bookmakers), he will want a good performance from the team especially after that loss to Villa at the weekend.

Predicted XI – (4-3-2-1) – Arrizabalaga (GK), James (DR), Koulibaly (DC), Badiashile (DC), Chilwell (DL), Fernandez (DMC), Kovacic (MC), Kante (MC), Havertz (AML), Pulisic (AMR), Felix (AC)

I’d expect Mudryk to make way from the team from the weekend after a disappointing performance against Villa, while Loftus Cheek could make way for the fit again N’Golo Kante.

Additionally, I think Chelsea will move to a flat back four against Liverpool here, with Fernandez and Kante playing a protective role in front of the back four, allowing Kovacic to play further forward on support of Felix, Havertz and most like Pulisic.

The tactical change will also likely see Chilwell and Reece James return to their usual full back roles with Badiashile coming in to partner Koulibaly at the heart of the defence.

Liverpool Team News

After a 4-1 humbling at the hands of Manchester City, Liverpool now must put their crumbling away record to the test with another very tough game away to Chelsea.

I expect Jurgen Klopp to make some changes for this game with perhaps Jordan Henderson dropping onto the bench and either Oxlade Chamberlain or more likely, James Milner coming in to give the England man a break.

I also feel Diogo Jota may be rested with Nunez recovering from his foot injury sustained in the 1-0 defeat away to Real Madrid.

Liverpool are without Calvin Ramsey, Thiago, Naby Keita and Stefan Bajcetic for this game. Luis Diaz is close to a return to the team but is not yet at full fitness and may only be considered for the bench if at all with Jurgen Klopp suggesting he may make the bench at the weekend against Arsenal.

Predicted XI – (4-3-3) – Alisson (GK), Alexander-Arnold (DR), Robertson (DL), Van Dijk (DC), Konate (DC), Fabinho (MC), Elliott (MC), Milner (MC), Salah (AMR), Gakpo (AML), Nunez (AC)

  • Played – 193
  • Chelsea Wins – 65
  • Draws – 44
  • Liverpool Wins – 84
  • All the last five games between the two (excluding penalty shootout wins) have finished as a draw, including three 0-0 draws in the past three games between the two.
  • Chelsea have won just one of the last eight against Liverpool, and that win came at Anfield in March 2021.
  • Chelsea’s last Premier League win at home to Liverpool was a 1-0 win over the Reds in May 2018.
  • Both teams have scored in just three of the last nine fixtures between these two teams.
  • There is an extensive list of players that have played for both clubs in the Premier League era including: Joe Cole, Raul Meirelles, Yossi Benayoun, Boudewijn Zenden, Glen Johnson, Fabio Borini, Dominic Solanke, Victor Moses, Raheem Sterling, Nicolas Anelka, Daniel Sturridge, Fernando Torres and Mo Salah.
  • Liverpool’s away record is the 8th worst in the Premier League with only Palace, Wolves, Leeds, Everton, Bournemouth, West Ham and Nottingham Forest having picked up fewer points on the road than Liverpool’s 12.
  • Chelsea’s home record of 22 points from 13 games is the 10th best home record in the Premier League.
  • Both teams have scored in just 12 games for each team this season in the Premier League.
  • In terms of over 2.5 goals just over 57% of Liverpool’s games have seen more than 2.5 goals, while just over 40% of Chelsea’s games have seen more than two goals scored.

Our Prediction

Two teams not in the best of form, with poor records at home and/or away and with a significant lack of confidence. That is not the receipt for a classic to be honest.

Chelsea’s home advantage and the fact that they have a caretaker manager may stand them in good stead here as I just can’t see how Liverpool can make significant strides away from home without making some personnel changes in that key midfield area.

As such, I am going for a 2-1 win to Chelsea here which is a 10/1 chance with bet365 Sport.