Can Liverpool get back to winning ways against Chelsea?
Odds, preview and betting tips for FA Cup fifth-round tie
It had to happen at some point. But few would have expected Liverpool’s 44-game unbeaten streak in the league to end at relegation-threatened Watford. Can they bounce back in tonight’s FA Cup clash against Chelsea?
Jurgen Klopp’s side have looked imperious for most of the season. But they’ve not been entirely convincing lately.
They lost 1-0 to Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League tie. Then they needed a howler from Lukasz Fabianksi to help them come from behind to beat West Ham United. Now they’ve finally tasted defeat in the league, it may serve as a wake-up call.
Liverpool are very narrow 8/5 favourites, with Chelsea just behind at 13/8. The draw is going for 5/2.
Michy Batshauyi and Olivier Giroud are joint 7/2 favourites in the First Goalscorer betting, with Pedro 3/1 anytime.
Mohamed Salah is 4/1 to open the scoring for Liverpool, or 7/5 anytime. Sadio Mane is 7/4 to grab a goal, with Divock Origi at 13/5.
But Chelsea boss Frank Lampard may also be starting to feel the pressure. His side are almost certainly out of the Champions League after a 3-0 first-leg loss to Bayern Munich. And a run of one win in six league games means their grip on fourth place isn’t looking so secure anymore.
Looking at the bigger picture, there’s more than a place in the quarter-finals at stake here – whoever wins will get a crucial boost as we head towards the business end of the season.
If Liverpool go out here, and fail to turn around the deficit against Atletico, they could lose motivation for the rest of the league campaign with the title already virtually sewn up.
With that in mind, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see some of their star players at Stamford Bridge. Klopp has tended to field very inexperienced sides in the domestic cups, but the likes of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino could feature.
Lampard doesn’t have as much choice given the number of injuries in the Chelsea squad, but expect him to field a strong starting XI.
He’ll hope Olivier Giroud can unsettle the Liverpool defence as Troy Deeney did on Saturday, but do they have anyone who can take advantage like Ismaila Sarr?
Whether we see a few more chinks in Liverpool’s armour, or the league leaders bounce back like true champions, we could be in for a great cup tie tonight.
View the latest Chelsea v Liverpool odds.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication