Mix n Match: Gerrard out means Chelsea edge past Liverpool

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Liverpool may be the 1/7 favourites to win the Premier League, but if their squad was merged with that currently at the disposal of Jose Mourinho, we have concluded that it would be more players from Chelsea that would make the match-day XI.

Chelsea shade victory 6-5 in this regard based on our team selection below and for punters also expecting the Blues to pinch another victory when they travel to Liverpool in the next round of Premier League fixtures, this outcome can be backed at 4/1.

For those choosing to take a greater risk, a Chelsea triumph by a single-goal margin is available at 11/2.

LivChelsXI

The one big omission from our team is that of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, whose 13 goals and 10 assists this season have been a huge factor in the Reds establishing a five-point lead at the summit.

However, considering he is playing in the deepest midfield role, with a duty of protecting his defence, the fact that Liverpool are on track to concede the most goals ever by a team to win the Premier League title suggests Gerrard isn’t the best option in this position.

Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic has been the enforcer-type figure best suited to this role for Chelsea since January and keeps Gerrard out here.

The other central midfielder is required to get up and down the pitch, with energy and workrate almost as important as quality.

Jordan Henderson has been performing this role dutifully alongside Gerrard this season and given the age of the England captain, it has to be doubted as to whether he could better his colleague in this way.

Liverpool’s defensive troubles have already been highlighted and they have conceded 18 goals more than Chelsea this season.

Therefore, it is no surprise that four of Mourinho’s back five get in here, with Glen Johnson the one exception, given he is a far more dangerous attacking option than Branislav Ivanovic.

The front four virtually pick themselves too, with Eden Hazard and Raheem Sterling providing the majority of the ammunition to Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.

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

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.