Why Liverpool and Chelsea need to secure wins early this weekend

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After three energy-sapping matches each so far in December, Liverpool and Chelsea could use a weekend off ahead of the festive season instead of travelling to an in-form Manchester United side and hosting a desperate Hull outfit respectively.

It’s not going to get much easier for the Reds and the Blues either, with both Brendan Rodgers and Jose Mourinho’s men booked for Capital One Cup quarter-final duties in a few short days’ time away to Championship flyers Bournemouth and Derby.

Rodgers’ side in particular look extremely vulnerable to a 4/1 defeat against Eddie Howe’s Cherries, who are currently third in the second tier and haven’t lost at home since mid-September.

Liverpool need to throw the kitchen sink at Louis van Gaal’s men when they face their bitter rivals at Old Trafford, as United have streaked seven points clear of the Reds in the Premier League after five wins on the bounce, although not all have been convincing.

Rodgers’ side claimed a famous 3-0 victory last term during the dreadful ‘Theatre Of Dreams’ reign of David Moyes, but that was the first time the hosts had failed to beat Liverpool at home in six tries.

Some would spin the Reds’ current four-match unbeaten run in all competitions into a positive, but one win and three losses from their past five on the road suggests there’s money to be made in backing Van Gaal’s stubborn side at 4/5.

Newcastle tore Chelsea’s 2014/15 cloak of invincibility to shreds in the Blues’ last away fixture, and with Steve McLaren’s Championship-leading Rams emerging victorious from five of their past seven at IPro Stadium, 11/2 on a home win here looks big.

Remember, Mourinho decided against resting the likes of Diego Costa, Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas and Gary Cahill for the 3-1 dead-rubber triumph over Sporting in the Champions League.

They’ll be made to work hard for the win at home to Steve Bruce’s side this weekend, with Hull unbeaten in two but stuck in the relegation zone and in in desperate need of points.

It’s over 31/1 on the Bournemouth/Derby Capital One Cup double. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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