Liverpool v Chelsea: Tuchel's Blues can hold stuttering Reds

Chelsea are unbeaten under Thomas Tuchel and the Stamford Bridge outfit are capable of getting a draw against a still depleted Liverpool

When: Thursday, March 4, 20:15 GMT

How to watch: Sky Sports Premier League

Follow the game via our score centre HERE

Are Chelsea a more reliable bet for a top-four finish than Liverpool?

Some thought the sacking of Frank Lampard was harsh and perhaps they're right. But it's hard to argue that Chelsea have shot themselves in the foot as new boss, Thomas Tuchel, has made an immediate impact.

The German has taken charge of nine games in all competitions and is unbeaten. That stretch comprises six wins and three draws. In the Premier League, it's a little less impressive with four wins and three draws. That's helped the Blues edge a point in front of the Reds although the bookies still expect Klopp's side to rally and secure a Champions League spot.

Liverpool are 8/15 with Paddy Power to make the top four while Chelsea are Evens. Those odds could easily flip if Tuchel's men take victory.

Best bets

Liverpool to draw 1-1 with Chelsea at 13/2 (bet365)

Trent Alexander-Arnold to score anytime at 10/1 (William Hill)

Mason Mount to score anytime at 4/1 (Paddy Power)

Last three Premier League meetings:

Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool (September 20, 2020)

An awful lot has changed since Liverpool ran out comfortable winners in London in their first away game of the campaign.

With Virgil van Dijk at the back, the Reds kept Chelsea at arm's length and a pair of second-half goals from Sadio Mane secured a deserved win.

Mane's pace had earlier led to the sending off of Andreas Christensen on the stroke of half-time, the Dane wrestling the Liverpool frontman to the ground when last man. Mane then punished Chelsea twice, his second goal coming after he charged down a clearance from a panicked Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Thiago Alcantara had come on at half-time and absolutely ran the show in the second 45. But nearly six months on, this remains his best game in a Liverpool shirt.

Liverpool 5-3 Chelsea (July 22, 2020)

No fans were present of course, but relatives were allowed and there was a definite end-of-term party atmosphere on the night when Liverpool finally got to hoist aloft the Premier League trophy after a 30-year wait to win the title.

Before Jordan Henderson did his celebratory shuffle, a relaxed and free-flowing Liverpool thumped home five goals. Naby Keita blasted an opener, Trent Alexander-Arnold smashed in a free-kick and Gini Wijnaldum made it 3-0 after 43 minutes.

Roberto Firmino finally scored his first home league goal of the campaign while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain iced the cake with a breakaway fifth late on.

But Chelsea played their part too. Olivier Giroud bundled home near half-time, Tammy Abraham slotted home a second and Christian Pulisic - briefly looking like the world's best player - thrashed in a third as the Blues fought back to 3-1 and then 4-3.

Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool (September 22, 2019)

A dominant Liverpool were always in control of this one as Trent Alexander-Arnold's superb free-kick and Roberto Firmino's header put the Reds 2-0 up inside the half-hour mark.

N'Golo Kante danced through to crash home with 19 minutes left and give Chelsea hope but Jurgen Klopp's men were an unstoppable force at the time and saw the game out to record a sixth straight win and top the early Premier League table by five points.

Head-to-head in the Premier League - last 10

Liverpool wins: 5

Draws: 4

Chelsea wins: 1

Liverpool scored: 17

Chelsea scored: 10

Blues have chance to kick on

This is the start of a Merseyside double header for Chelsea. After Thursday's trip to Anfield they host Everton on Monday. But after that they look to have a winnable set of fixtures.

Their next five Premier League games are Leeds (a), Sheffield United (h), West Brom (h), Crystal Palace (a) and Brighton (h). During that run, they follow the Leeds game with the second leg of their Champions League tie with Atletico Madrid (Chelsea lead 1-0 from the first leg).

Mason Mount is in the goals
Mason Mount is in the goals

Tuchel will have very mixed memories of his last trip to Anfield. That was the famous night when his Borussia Dortmund team seemed to be ripping Liverpool apart when going 2-0 up inside 10 minutes and later 3-1 in front after 57.

The Bundesliga side only needed a draw to reach the last four of the Europa League but, in an electric atmosphere, the hosts fought back to win 4-3, sealing victory with a last-gasp Dejan Lovren header.

Can Liverpool find their mojo at Anfield?

After being an unstoppable force at Anfield, Liverpool have somehow crashed so far that even scoring a goal there seems a major task. Klopp's team have won six times since December 19. But all six of those wins have come on the road.

Liverpool are in a slump at Anfield
Liverpool are in a slump at Anfield

At home, they've lost their last four Premier League games, succumbing to Burnley (0-1), Brighton (0-1), Manchester City (1-4) and Everton (0-2). The solitary goal was a Mo Salah penalty so Liverpool haven't scored an Anfield goal from open play since mid-December. That's astonishing.

However, a tweak in tactics at Sheffield United suggests Klopp isn't just going to repeat the same things and hope for a different outcome. Something fresh is needed and the victory at Sheffield United last time was a confidence booster. In addition, Klopp has a great record against fellow German managers.

Liverpool should find the net but so should Chelsea.

Liverpool's last five Premier League results:

Liverpool 0-1 Brighton

Liverpool 1-4 Manchester City (Salah)

Leicester 3-1 Liverpool (Salah)

Liverpool 0-2 Everton

Sheffield United 0-2 Liverpool (Jones, o.g.)

Scoreline prediction: Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea

This Anfield fixture ended 1-1 three seasons on the trot from 2015-2017 and it makes sense to go for that option again. Liverpool are desperate for the home win but Chelsea have become hard to beat under Tuchel and the draw is no disaster for either side.

Ozan Kabak is still trying to settle in
Ozan Kabak is still trying to settle in

There's no getting away from the fact that Liverpool still have holes. They'll go into this one with a patched up central defence even if Fabinho returns.

Ozan Kabak looks decent on the ball but he's getting caught out tactically. Nat Phillips is an honest stopper but lacks pace. Chelsea, if they are cute, should be able to find a way past the hosts at some point.

But the home goal drought simply can't go on. Having Diogo Jota back in the mix increases Liverpool's options and Tuchel will certainly be wary having had his dreams crushed at Anfield on his previous visit.

Goalscorer bets

Jota's return is a boost and the Portuguese star had netted in five of his nine Anfield games before being sidelined with injury.

Mane scored both goals in the reverse fixture and also bagged a brace in the Super Cup win over Chelsea at the start of last season. Firmino scored in both Premier League fixtures last season but so did Alexander-Arnold and the right-back is the one to go for.

Trent Alexander-Arnold has a liking for Chelsea
Trent Alexander-Arnold has a liking for Chelsea

The England man drilled home an excellent goal against Spurs at the end of January and looks a sporting bet at 10/1 to score anytime.

For Chelsea, Mason Mount has scored in three of his last five away games. He's an important cog in the Chelsea machine and is getting chances. The 4/1 for an anytime goal has to be worth a look.

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