Chelsea are a shadow of the demoralized side that finished a dismal 10th in the 2015-16 Premier League season. Under Italian coach, Antonio Conte, they have found their title-winning mojo back and are now just two points behind table leaders Manchester City in the current 2016-17 season. They wished they could have earned more than the 10 points they have now from the 4 games they have played, but a unlikely 2-2 draw against a gritty Swansea queered the pitch, preventing them from sharing the top spot with the Citizens.
Diego Costa’s brace against the Swans included his 100th Premier League goal. Come Saturday, Conte’s boys will face their first truly tough Premier League encounter when they run into Liverpool at home in Stamford Bridge. The Reds under Jurgen Klopp have been inconsistent, but truly threatening whenever they have won. Although in the 5th spot currently with seven points, their two wins were against third placed Arsenal (5-3) and champions Leicester City with whom they just toyed in their 4-1 win last Saturday, have managed to send warning signals to the Blues ahead of their Saturday clash. Jurgen Klopp seems to be going only for goals and more goals and folks like Coutinho, Firminio, Sane and Lallana are helping him just do that.
The Chelsea defense quartet of Gary Cahill, Branislav Ivanovic, César Azpilicueta and John Terry will really need to be up on their toes if the Liverpool forwards find their rhythm at Stamford Bridge.But in his quest for goals Klopp hasn’t kept an eye on those he has taken in.Liverpool have conceded the most number of goals (seven so far) among teams of the top half underlining the fact that there are severe chinks in their defenses. Chelsea will try to exploit this shortcoming and the exceptional upfront skills of Hazard, Costa, Willian and Oscar will come to the fore.
Chelsea couldn’t win any of their three encounters against Liverpoool at Stamford Bridge during 2015 (two draws and one defeat). But then, that was a nightmarish season for the Blues overall. They look a much more well-knit and confident side this time around and are playing true to their all-round potential. They look well set to put the brakes on the rampaging momentum the boys from Anfield have gathered from their thumping win against title holders, Leicester. Odds heavily favor the hosts in the Friday’s 16th evening clash at Stamford bridge. But with Liverpool one can never tell.
Recommended Tip: Chelsea to Win, Best Odds 13/10