Liverpool v Chelsea: Reds’ new-found tenacity worth siding with

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Liverpool and Chelsea meeting in the latter stages of cup competitions, either on the domestic or European scene, has become common during the Jose Mourinho era and the tradition is set to continue with a two-legged Capital One Cup semi-final starting at Anfield on Tuesday night.

There have been five League Cup ties between the two clubs in their history and it’s the Merseysiders that lead the head-to-heads with three wins.

The match-betting market, which makes Chelsea slim favourites at 23/20, the hosts a 23/10 chance and the draw 12/5, isn’t one of the focal points in our rundown of the best three bets for the first leg battle, however:

Chelsea to score 2-3 goals @ 27/20

Sunderland remain the only team to welcome Chelsea to their ground then send them packing having kept them at bay for 90 minutes.

The Blues have scored exactly two or three goals in three of their past five away games and have bagged a brace in all of their last four battles with the Reds, including in each of their previous three trips to Anfield.

Liverpool to win or draw @ 13/20

Although it looks like Brendan Rodgers’ men will have to be at their most potent to keep pace with the visitors at Anfield, their recent form indicates that backing them to avoid defeat holds water.

The hosts have only lost once in their last 14 outings and are currently on an eight-game unbeaten run since going down 3-0 to Manchester United at Old Trafford.

At home that streak of stubbornness stretches to six games, but with four draws making up the foundation of that run it pays to err on the side of caution with a double-chance flutter.

Both teams to score @ 3/4

There have only been two occasions in the last nine meetings between this pair when one or both participants have failed to find the back of the net.

The Blues have been a far cry from the defence-obsessed side usually associated with Mourinho, especially away from home where John Terry and co have kept just five clean sheets.

At Anfield, Liverpool have been even worse than that, managing just three shutouts in their 16 matches at home.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.