In the pick of this weekend’s matches, Chelsea host reigning Champions Liverpool, looking to take an early opportunity to underline their title credentials for this season.
Chelsea finished third in the league last season, 33 points behind champions Liverpool and they’ve subsequently gone on a massive revamp in this summer’s transfer window in a bid to bridge that gap and challenge for the title this season. The acquisition of Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz has certainly raised the expectations of the Stamford Bridge hopefuls.
Both Havertz and Werner started at Brighton and although Chelsea as a team looked out of step, both had a relatively good output in general with Werner winning a penalty that gave Chelsea the lead and ended up winning 3-1.
Chelsea’s Achilles’ heel last season was their defence and it will be interesting to see what they’ve done to plug the gaping holes that saw them conceding more goals than any of the top ten teams last season, despite finishing third on the log.
Liverpool put up a dominant performance last season on their way to ending a 30-year wait for their first title in the Premier League era. They finished a whopping 18 points clear of their nearest challengers Manchester City.
They started the defence of their title on a somewhat shaky note as uncharacteristic defensive blunders against Leeds almost cost them some points on opening day but Mo Salah’s hat-trick sealed a 4-3 win to grant them all three points from the opener.
Liverpool haven’t been as busy with summer transfers, opting instead to run it back with the title-winning squad from last season. They have just signed Thiago Alcantara from Bayern which only increases the depth in their already loaded squad.
If day one of the Premier League is anything to go by, we are in for a treat. Both of these teams won their opening matches but there were major fault lines exposed in their defences. Previous encounters between these teams have produced fireworks including the last game which Liverpool won 5-3. In light of their present predicaments defensively and their bigger sub-plot of the title race, we expect yet another explosive encounter and we are backing Both Teams to Score @ 1.53 with Betway as our initial betting prediction.
Given the context of the game in so far as the early shadow boxing in the title race is concerned, we expect a close encounter with some tension in the air. Both teams will be going all out to win, with neither team willing to give any psychological edge to the other. Centre referee Paul Tierney is likely to have a busy afternoon. The experienced referee comes across as calm but he is pretty stern when games threaten to get out of control as this one is shaping out to be. He averaged 3 bookings a game last season but issued 4 or more bookings in his final 5 matches of the season. We are going for Over 3.5 bookings @ 1.87 with Betway betting app as our final call for this game.
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