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Liverpool 23/20 to prove Chelsea’s away win at Fulham a false-dawn

| 19.04.2013

Far more so than in the heyday of Liverpool’s Champions League rivalry with Chelsea, the Reds have had the sign over John Terry and Co in the past three seasons, winning five of their last seven meetings and losing just once in that sequence. Chelsea may have busted their poor away run with a 3-0 win at Fulham, but the Reds’ strength at Fortress Anfield can send their old gaffer Rafa Benitez back down south pointless – they can be backed for the win at 23/20 with Coral.

What’s perhaps most striking about Liverpool’s recent good record against Chelsea is that a massive four of those wins came during their Dalglish doldrums. After teething troubles the Reds are now a much improved outfit under Brendan Rodgers.

Their rebirth under Rodgers has been underscored by some exceedingly solid form at Anfield, where a 4-1 win over Saturday’s visitors was one of just six games league games they won under the scot last term. The recipe for the Red’s home excellence is far from secret, with zeroes in the goals against column of seven of their last 10 league games the conspicuous evidence of a much improved back line.

The Reds have the division’s second most miserly home defence and Coral make them 12/5 to keep a clean sheet against their visitors, with a win-to-nil backable at 16/5.

Chelsea finally smashed their run of dour draws against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Wednesday night, but it would be premature to say they’ve shaken a travel bug that had seen them go without an league away win since victory at Stoke when the year was but 12 days young. A thunderbolt from David Luiz and two headers from a generously-marked John Terry were the difference on a night where Fulham had the lion’s share of possession.

Against better-organised ball-hogs – Liverpool are joint-second in the home possession table – with a better-organised defence Chelsea will need Juan Mata and Eden Hazard to at their sharpest. Unfortunately the Blues have played 11 games more than their hosts this term and cannot be relied upon to be brimming with vigour after their midweek fixture.

They will be in for a bombardment too, with Liverpool leading not just the country, but the continent for attempts on goal. The occasionally profligate Luis Suarez may have been responsible for a ton of those but the hard-to-love Uruguayan has scored eight times in his last seven home games and can be backed to end a four-game goal-drought at 5/4 any time or 5/1 first or last goalscorer.

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