This weekend we have a clash between two of the traditional top four teams. Liverpool is under new ownership while Chelsea is playing under a new coach. Although many changes have occurred with both clubs, they both sit pretty well in the table at this point in time. Chelsea currently sits fourth and Liverpool is in sixth with only three points separating the clubs. This entails a very entertaining game at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Liverpool will be looking to tie Chelsea in points and get back where they feel they belong, the top four.
Liverpool has an advantage in this game despite the game being played at Stamford Bridge. Liverpool will not have to keep one eye on a midweek game in the Champions League, even though I am sure their supporters would prefer to have to still worry about the Champions League. Because of this, they won’t need to rest their key players which could prove to be the difference. So far this season, Liverpool has won more games on the road than they have at home. At home they have a record of 2-4-0 but on the road they have a record of 3-0-2. However, they have scored fewer goals on the road and scoring against Chelsea will be no easy feat. Scoring has not been easy for Liverpool this season. So far they have scored only 14 goals in 11 with 4 of them coming from Luis Suarez. The fact they are playing a youth side is sure to work against them, but who knows maybe the youngsters in Liverpool jerseys will pull it out.
Chelsea, on the other hand, does have a Champions League fixture on Wednesday so they will need to keep an eye on their midweek fixture. Therefore, there is a good chance some key players could be rested for the Premier League clash on Sunday. Chelsea is currently at the top of their group in the Champions League, two points ahead of Bayer Leverkusen. However, they must play Leverkusen on Wednesday, which could prove to be a huge match in deciding who will win the group. Unlike Liverpool, Chelsea has not had an issue scoring goals especially at home off the Nike Vapor clad feet of their strikers. So far this season, Chelsea are 4-0-1 at Stamford Bridge scoring 15 goals and conceding 9. I don’t know if you caught this, but at home, Chelsea has scored more goals than Liverpool have total in the entire season. Even though they have scored quite a bit this season, they may have to rest Frank Lampard and John Terry to keep them fresh for Wednesday. Those two have combined for 9 goals this season, which is 37% of the offense.
This game could be very exciting, as games between these two always are. One team scores quite a bit but also concedes quite a bit while the other does not score very often. If Chelsea had their full squad available to them, I would give them the edge, but since they could be resting some key players, it could take some goal scoring away as well as leave some gaps in defense. Since Liverpool can have all their focus on this game, they should be in good shape, but given the lack of goal scoring and the fact that it’s at the Bridge, I predict a 1-1 tie with neither team being able to gain the upper hand.
Written By: Eric Stoyanov
Sources: http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2012/standings/index.html; http://soccernet.espn.go.com/league/_/id/eng.1/english-premier-league?cc=5901
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