Vanished are the days that Liverpool blew teams away within a whirlwind opening half-hour at Anfield and with Chelsea in town next a return to those trademark ways of last season look further off than ever.
For Brendan Rodgers’ under-performing Reds this fixture represents a visit to the scene of their worst nightmare, as last season’s 2-0 defeat to Chelsea with only three games to go knocked down the dominoes on their title bid.
As you’ll see from our best bets on the contest, it’s now Chelsea – the slenderest of 23/20 favourites to beat 23/10 shots Liverpool – who boast the ability to get opposition teams reeling early on.
Chelsea to lead after 15 minutes @ 4/1
Jose Mourinho’s ultra-slick league leaders have stolen Liverpool’s unmerciful mantle by stamping their authority on game’s early on, notching within the opening quarter-hour four times in the top-flight already this term.
Meanwhile, their toothless hosts have not scored a first-half goal for five consecutive games in all competitions, where Adam Lallana’s 45th minute strike at home to West Brom remains their only pre-break goal in nine.
Eden Hazard to score first @ 6/1
Chelsea’s defender-bamboozling Belgian may have irked his manager by missing a midweek Champions League penalty, but Hazard is flying in the league this season.
The fact Hazard now owes his boss one is even more worrying for Liverpool as the Chelsea whiz has already notched twice in three Premier League appearances against the Reds.
To score the last goal: Liverpool @ 6/5
If this near-flawless Chelsea outfit have shown any fallibility during this ominous unbeaten start to the season, it’s a drop in concentration in the final throes of games.
Half of the 10 goals the title favourites have conceded in the Premier League so far have arrived after the 75th minute mark.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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