It’s a salivating prospect for the second Friday Night Football instalment of the Premier League season, but choosing a winner between Chelsea and visiting Liverpool is no easy task.
Only three points separate the teams in the early version of the table and both have showed plenty of encouraging signs.
Let’s call it a draw then. As the longest of the match odds at 5/2, that may not be an entirely unprofitable idea.
Spoils were shared the last time these rivals clashed last too, albeit that penultimate game of the season was merely a matter of pride.
Despite the early convergence, there is far more to play for this time around as Antonio Conte prepares for the first genuine test of his and his team’s metal.
Therein lies the first clue that it may be worth siding with Jurgen Klopp’s charges, at 23/10, instead of Conte’s hosts at 5/4.
While Chelsea have pitted wits against West Ham, Watford, Burnley and Swansea (with all due respect) for their 10-point haul, Liverpool, minus a blip at Burnley where they hogged the ball but got stung, have garnered their first seven points from last season’s top three, in Arsenal, Tottenham and Leicester.
By the metric of chances created at Spurs, they could well have had nine by now. It’s not a cast-iron reason, but the Reds are already in the big-game zone as it were.
More concrete evidence lies in the way they dismantled Leicester in a blaze of goals forged in the fires of brilliant diversionary running from the front three players.
Then there is Liverpool’s recent record down the King’s Road. Last season’s 3-1 raid was their third top-flight win at Chelsea in six visits, while they’ve left empty-handed just once.
They are of course more vulnerable at the back than their distinguished hosts, so bets involving goals at both ends, and in-form menace Diego Costa scoring, at 4/7 and 13/10, look like solid options also.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.