Liverpool vs. Chelsea Odds, Picks & Predictions: How To Bet Thursday’s Premier League Match
Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images. Pictured: Chelsea standouts Crhistian Pulisic, right, and Marcos Alonso.
- Premier League powers Liverpool and Chelsea square off Thursday in a match with huge implications.
- Both clubs are chasing coveted Champions League spots, with this fixture potentially having a big say in their European futures.
- Kieran Darcy on where he finds betting value on the game below.
Liverpool vs. Chelsea Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-121 / -104)|
|Day | Time||Thursday | 3:15 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
|Odds as of Wednesday afternoon via DraftKings.|
Premier League powers Liverpool and Chelsea go at it Thursday in a match with major implications, specifically in terms of the race to finish in the top four in the standings to ensure Champions League qualification for next season.
The visiting Blues are currently in fifth place with 44 points, sitting just a point behind West Ham United. On the other, the defending champions are stuck in a disappointing sixth place on 43 points.
Here's a closer look at the two clubs, followed by a prediction for this meeting.
The Reds are coming off a 2-0 win over Sheffield United on Sunday at Bramall Lane. However, the Blades are in last place and the Reds had lost four consecutive matches in the league prior to that win. Those were defeats against Brighton & Hove Albion (1-0); Manchester City (4-1); Leicester City (3-1); and, a 2-0 shutout versus Everton.
Of even more concern is the continued absence of key players, particularly on defense. The starting center backs against Sheffield United were new acquisition Ozan Kabak and the inexperienced Nat Phillips, plus goalkeeper Alisson missed the game after the tragic death of his father.
However, the Liverpool goalie is expected to be back. Teammates Fabinho and Diogo Jota have returned to training as well, meaning manager Jürgen Klopp should have some reinforcements for this contest.
Klopp says Alisson has trained and should return to action v Chelsea.
Fabinho has had "five or six sessions in his legs and looks good".
Jota trained yesterday "a little bit" and "today I was told he feels better, so we'll see what steps he can make". #LFC
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) March 3, 2021
It's been a disappointing season for the reigning champions for sure. Yet, Liverpool's performances haven't been quite as poor as its position in the table indicates. In terms of expected-goal difference, the Reds are third in the league at +16.8 xGDiff, according to FBRef.com).
Manchester City are well ahead of Liverpool at +31.7 xGDiff, but the other side that's ahead of Liverpool is Chelsea — and barely so — at +17.2 xGDiff in the advanced metric.
The Blues have now gone an impressive nine games unbeaten in all competitions since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard as manager.
However, they're coming off back-to-back league draws — a scoreless finish against Manchester United last Sunday, preceded by a 1-1 tie at Southampton the week before. Chelsea did beat Atlético Madrid, 1-0, in Champions League play in between those games, but needed a Olivier Giroud bicycle kick to do so.
Notice a trend? Chelsea's matches have been very low-scoring since Tuchel's arrival. In fact, Chelsea have conceded only two goals in those nine fixtures, and one of them was an own goal.
However, Chelsea has only scored 10 goals during that stretch, so that's a little more than one goal per match. And the underlying numbers are similar. In eight Premier League and Champions League matches under Tuchel, the Blues have generated 10.5 xG and conceded 3.5 xG in the process.
Only one match under Tuchel has featured more than two goals, and that was a 2-1 victory over Sheffield United that included an own goal.
Betting Analysis & Picks
Based on the underlying numbers mentioned above, you could make the argument this is a match between the second- and third-best teams in England. However, that would probably tick off a bunch of people, particularly Manchester United fans.
Regardless of your opinion of the xG statistic, these clubs look relatively evenly matched — after all, just one point separates them in the table.
Chelsea are obviously in better form, but the game is on home soil. And let's not forget that before Liverpool's four consecutive home defeats — it also lost 1-0 to Burnley on its own ground on Jan. 21 — it had gone unbeaten in 68 consecutive games at Anfield.
Liverpool hadn't lost four in a row at home since 1923. The Reds have never lost five consecutive home games in the history of the club.
All that being said, I foresee a relatively close match that either side could edge. However, I will back the draw, which offers the best payout among the three money-line alternatives.
Pick: Draw (+255)