It’s the sort of match you might feel is being played too close to the start. The neutrals, however, are licking their lips, particularly after the blistering start both teams made.
Much has been said about Chelsea’s summer spending, which soared to well over £220 million. Klopp was critical of the spree, citing that “some clubs don’t need to worry about the future, because they are owned by countries, owned by oligarchs.”
An amused Lampard said he’d rather not do the maths, following similar spending patterns at Liverpool the previous season. The key difference between then and now is the pandemic, and the fact that Chelsea’s transfer ban has almost permitted them to spend big, off the back of zero net spend.
The hype for this match is real and started before a ball was kicked. It has the flair of a modern rivalry, and yes, Frank is almost correct… The maths is simple: Liverpool’s matchday squad against Leeds was worth £352m, while Chelsea’s was £309m against Brighton.
A treat awaits us on the pitch, as both teams were impressive on opening day. Mo Salah hit a hattrick against Leeds, while Chelsea punished Brighton 3-1.
More goals from Mo Salah? He’s priced at 9.00 to score at least two!
Salah’s display against Leeds was incredible. He’s sharp, has bulked up even more and a new trim gives him an even meaner look. He’s got the selfless Mane up with him and Firmino’s flair has no off button. Three goals and four chances created by the Egyptian King are the type of numbers that will worry Frank Lampard.
While Chelsea now boast a new quartet of Pulisic, Havertz, Werner and Ziyech, they have failed to improve in the goalkeeping department and stuck with Kepa. That position remains their Achilles heel, and goals are expected on Sunday.
Get both teams to score at 1.50
A case for the defence
Liverpool’s 4-3 victory over Leeds was special. No one knows what to expect against a Leeds side which is so fluid tactically. They play toe-to-toe and man-mark in an obsessive way. They attack like a swarm of wasps, with a deadly sting. The fact that Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk were rattled is a compliment to Leeds.
It’s also a ray of hope for other teams. Liverpool’s defenders are human after all and the element of the unknown at Chelsea can be a factor too. Werner looks sharp already, with 11.53km covered against Brighton. Only N’Golo Kante outran him, and he popped up everywhere. His post-match comments left a chuckle “I played against three massive defenders, you don’t have that in Germany!”. A tasty duel against Big Virgil is going to be popcorn.
We’ve got Werner to score during the first half at 4.30
…Or a Liverpool win to nil at 4.20
This game has a wild feeling about it, and once both managers are done counting coins, it’s the 22 players that will keep us on the edge of our seats, hopefully scoring for fun.
Pick Liverpool to win at 2.17, a draw is priced at 3.70 while a home victory for Chelsea is at 3.20.
Note: all odds subject to change.