Away matches against Napoli and Chelsea in the same week, with a 100% record in the Premier League to protect. But forget about last season, Liverpool need to focus on the task in hand.
If you think this pair of away trips is horrendous for the Reds, this is nothing. They’re off to Milton Keynes next week.
The Blues have had a very mixed start to their league campaign this year. Going into the weekend, only the top two sides have scored more goals, but only Norwich have conceded more.
Chelsea have also yet to win a home game, drawing with Leicester and Sheffield United – despite leading in both matches – and losing to Valencia. They were soundly beaten by Manchester United in their one ‘big six’ clash so far in 2019/20 too.
Yet, they played well against Liverpool in the Super Cup and had chances to win the match. It’s also true Liverpool’s penultimate league defeat took place in this fixture, albeit it was 16 months ago and they’ve won 36 of their 44 Premier League matches since.
But, Jürgen Klopp’s team are winless from their last four visits to other top sides. After winning at Wembley last season, they drew at Chelsea, Arsenal and United, and lost at the Etihad. The Reds have a decent record at the Bridge though, losing just two of their nine league visits this decade.
Paddy thinks they’ll prevail this time too, as he makes them the 10/11 favourites.
Had it not been for the Super Cup clash, combined with Liverpool’s exertions in Naples on Tuesday night, I’d be inclined to agree. Add in that The Reds are struggling for clean sheets this season, having picked up just one in all competitions, and I think this match will end level.
Best bet: Draw – 13/5
Whatever the outcome, there’s good reason to think Chelsea will open the scoring.
Despite rarely beating Liverpool at the Bridge in recent times, the Blues have netted the opener in five of their last six meetings on home turf.
This form extends to other big games too. Chelsea have scored first in 10 of their last 12 home league games against the rest of the big six – including the last eight in a row. If there’s goals, it’s common for the Blues to bag the first of them.
Best bet: Chelsea to score first – 13/10
As Lampard’s lads were unable to keep Sheffield United from scoring twice, it would be quite the coup if they could hold Liverpool at bay.
Since the Reds lost 1-0 at Stamford Bridge in May 2018, they’ve scored in 41 of their 44 league games. Still, the three where they ended with nil were against teams they hate – City, United and Everton – so maybe there’s hope for Chelsea yet.
However, if United can score four times against Chelsea when they’ve only scored four across the four league games since, it’s impossible to see Klopp’s men not celebrating a goal on Sunday.
Best bet: Both teams to score – 9/20
Chelsea have the Premier League’s most in-form striker. Tammy Abraham has scored at least twice in each of his last three league appearances. If he bags a brace here – he’s 10/1 to do so – he’ll join Luis Suárez as the only players to net twice in four successive Premier League games.
The fact he has seven league goals already when no Blues’ striker bagged more than five last season doesn’t paint Maurizio Sarri’s decision making in a good light.
But can he do it in big games? As no Chelsea player scored more than two goals in the top six mini-league last season, you may as well go with Abraham.
Best bet: Tammy Abraham to score first – 6/1
The lack of goals in big games could obviously be a problem for the Blues here. Their whole team has scored 12 since the start of last season, while Liverpool’s first choice front three have picked up 14.
They have had an extra game against Arsenal which always helps, but with each of the trio either scoring or assisting in Liverpool’s last two league games, they’re certainly in form.
Sadio Mané has been their top scorer away from home in 2019/20, having scored in both league games and netting a brace against Chelsea in the Super Cup. He can torment them further with a goal here.
Best bet: Sadio Mané to score anytime – 7/5
* All odds correct at time of posting.