Liverpool plays host to Chelsea when these two top Premier League teams collide at Anfield on July 22, 2020.
The Reds have already clinched the Premier League title and have looked out of form in their last five assignments. Liverpool has played like it has taken its foot off the gas pedal and they have suffered two defeats and a draw during their last five matches. Meanwhile, Chelsea is still trying to hold off Leicester City and Manchester United in the race for the Champions League. The Blues are in third place but with the Foxes and Red Devils close behind, they need to win their last two games just to make sure they are in.
The Reds have clinched the title several games ago and they have spent their remaining games chasing more records. However, following their loss to Arsenal, Liverpool will no longer be able to match Manchester City’s league record of 100-points earned during a single season. With that said, there is nothing to play for the Reds here and I don’t expect them to go all out for a victory here.
Liverpool has not looked the same since officially clinching the 2020 Premier League title. The Reds have lost twice and have drawn once in their last five matches and this isn’t the kind of form we saw from them early on when they were on a record-setting run. They seemed to have turned off the engine and their 1-2 loss to Arsenal was the confirmation of that. Arsenal had the disadvantage of possession time but a rare mistake by Virgil Van Djik and an excellent goal by Reiss Nelson allowed the Gunners to take all three points from the Reds.
Mohamed Salah leads the Reds with a total of 19 goals scored on the season. Sadio Mane has found the back of the net 17 times while Roberto Firmino has eight goals scored and seven assists. Trent Alexander-Gould leads Liverpool with a team-high 12 assists while also scoring three goals. Andy Robertson also has 10 assists and two goals.
The Reds are the best defensive team in England with only a total of 29 goals conceded this season. They are 2nd behind Manchester City in goal-scoring with a total of 77 on the year. Liverpool is also second in passing with a total of 63 assists on the year and their goal difference of +48 is also second-best in the Premier League.
Odds from BetOnline as of 07/21/2020
The Blues are currently the third-best team in England with a record of 19-6-11 and a total of 63 points earned this season. Chelsea is way behind Liverpool and Manchester City for the lead but they are just one point ahead of fourth-place Leicester City and fifth-place Manchester United in the battle for the Champions League. While Liverpool has little to play for here, this is a very important match for the Blues.
Chelsea heads to this match after a fantastic performance against Manchester City in the FA Cup Semifinals at Wembley Stadium. The Blues never gave the Red Devils the chance to get going and they ended up winning by a score of 3-1. Chelsea is locked in on third place but they need to win their last two matches as both Leicester City and Manchester United are close behind. If the Blues use the same formation that beat the Red Devils and they play just as well on Wednesday, they will be in good shape against the champions-elect.
Tammy Abraham leads the team with a total of 14 goals scored on the season. Midfielder Willian has netted nine times while Christian Pulisic has found the back of the net eight times for the Blues. Willian also leads the team with a total of seven assists this season while Cesar Azpilicueta has six assists and two goals. Mason Mount has also contributed four assists and six goals.
Chelsea is 4th in the league in scoring with a total of 64 goals scored on the year. The Blues are 11th in defense with a total of 49 goals conceded this season. They are also ranked 4th in passing with a total of 43 assists on the year. Chelsea is ranked 5th in goal difference at +15 on the year.
These teams have played in a total of 64 matches. Liverpool has won 21 times while Chelsea has been victorious on 26 matches with 17 other head to head games ending in a draw. Chelsea defeated Liverpool 2-0 in their last head to head encounter on March 3, 2020.
I think that Liverpool is done with their season and they are merely going through the motions as this isn’t the kind of form we saw from them during their run to the Premier League title. They no longer have the same focus and intensity in their last five games and with the title in the bag, I’m not confident in backing a Liverpool team that has nothing more to prove.
On the other hand, Chelsea is still in the battle for the Champions League. While they are currently in third place, Leicester City and Manchester United are hot on their trail. To avoid complications down the road, the Blues need to win their last two matches so they can officially claim their spot in the Champions League next year. Beating Liverpool would also be a good prelude to their FA Cup final against Arsenal. With more on the line for them here, I expect Chelsea to come out with more fire and more will to win. Look for the Blues to pick up the victory here.
Prediction: Chelsea (+245)
Odds from BetOnline as of 07/21/2020
These teams have combined to score a total of 23 goals in their last 10 head to head meetings. The Reds have seen the total go over 2.5 goals in four out of their last six matches played while the total has gone over 2.5 goals in six out of the Blues’ last eight games played. The over is also 8-7-3 in Liverpool’s home matches this season while the over is 11-4-3 in Chelsea’s away matches this term. These are two Top 4 scoring teams and even if Liverpool is the best defensive team in the league, they have not played up to par in their last five matches, leaving the door open for Chelsea to pick up multiple goals here to beat the Reds.
Prediction: Over 2.5 Goals (-175). Odds from Bet365 as of 07/19/2020