How the Bookies See it:
- Winner: Liverpool 13/8, Chelsea 19/10, Draw 23/10 - Bet365
- First Goalscorer: Diego Costa (CHE) 4/1, Daniel Sturridge (LIV) 11/2, Roberto Firmino (LIV) 11/2 - Sky Bet
- Both Teams To Score: Yes 7/10, No 23/20 - BetVictor
- Correct Score: Draw 1-1 6/1, Liverpool 1-0 7/1, Draw 0-0 9/1 - William Hill
- Liverpool’s form has taken a dramatic turn for the worse since the start of 2017, with just one win in eight games in all competitions. They have been knocked out of both the EFL Cup and FA Cup in the past week, while a 3-2 loss to Swansea City in the Premier League left them ten points adrift of the leaders in fourth place.
- Chelsea have responded to their 2-0 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur on 4th January with four straight wins in all competitions, and their 2-0 victory over Hull City extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to eight points. Diego Costa returned to the side in that game to score his 15th league goal of the season.
- Liverpool overcame Chelsea 2-1 at Stamford Bridge earlier this season and are unbeaten in the past four Premier League fixtures between the sides.
Liverpool had not lost at home all season until they played Swansea, but have now suffered three straight Anfield defeats. The bookmakers do not think it will become four in a row, though, and have made the Reds marginal favourites. They have certainly shown they are capable of raising their game against the bigger teams this season, having already beaten Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City, and changes are inevitable after Jurgen Klopp fielded a relatively inexperienced XI for the FA Cup clash with Wolves.
Sadio Mane is one player who could come in after Liverpool arranged for the Senegalese forward to be flown back from the Africa Cup of Nations on a private plane. Liverpool have lost just one match with Mane in the side this season, but after playing for 120 minutes of his country’s quarter-final against Cameroon on Saturday, missing the crucial penalty in the shootout and then having a long flight, he should not be expected to make too much of an impact. Mane’s odds of scoring anytime are 11/5 with Bet365, but Philippe Coutinho looks better value at 12/5 now that he has had a few games under his belt following injury.
Considering the respective form of both teams, though, the real value looks to be with Chelsea. They are behind Liverpool at 19/10 with Sky Bet in the market for the match winner, despite tasting victory in 15 of their last 16 Premier League games. The uncertainty over Diego Costa’s future seems to have been resolved and the striker is in red-hot form. Against a Liverpool defence that was recently tormented by Fernando Llorente, Costa looks a great option at 10/3 with Ladbrokes in the Score/Win double market.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Diego Costa to score and Chelsea to win - 10/3 at Ladbrokes
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.