The 5th round of the English FA Cup is here and there’s little doubt that the clash between Chelsea and Liverpool will draw a lot of attention. The Reds just lost in the Premier League for the first time in ages, while Chelsea’s season is quickly going down the drain.
The Blues are barely in fourth and as good as out of the Champions League after a 3-0 home defeat against Bayern Munich in the first leg. Liverpool is also back against the wall in the most popular UEFA competition, after losing 1-0 against Atletico Madrid.
Both teams need a boost of their morale and a victory on Tuesday could serve them well. In this betting preview of the match, I evaluate the chances of both sides and share my betting prediction for the upcoming clash.
The injuries of Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic are one of Chelsea’s biggest problems right now. Both youngsters were among Frank Lampard’s key men and their absence is hurting the team’s attack. There’s no clear timetable for their return, according to the manager.
This means that Lampard will once again rely on some of his more experienced players like Olivier Giroud and Pedro. I believe that the boss will go for a strong starting lineup, as Chelsea is effectively out of the Champions League.
The FA Cup remains a good opportunity to win a trophy in Lampard’s debut season which is another reason to expect a solid side by the Blues.
The problem is that even Chelsea’s best is not that good right now. The team has been struggling on both ends of the pitch and especially against teams that play defensively. If Jurgen Klopp decides to rotate heavily, that might be Liverpool’s style on Tuesday and it spells trouble for the hosts. On the other hand, going against a strong eleven will be a huge problem as well.
Not many saw the 3-0 defeat against Watford coming, but this wasn’t the first tough away game in the Premier League this season. Liverpool struggled on multiple occasions against moderate teams, but often got out of trouble thanks to the combination of some sublime goals and luck.
Before some of you might think that I’m discrediting the side, let me clarify that’s not the case at all. This is probably the best team in the history of the league. And yet, you are not always at your best and sometimes, you get bailed by one or two players.
That’s an extra advantage from having world-class talent at your disposal. This time around, it simply didn’t work and Watford’s strikers were clinical.
I don’t think that’s the end of the world, but there’s always a certain risk when such a big winning streak ends. Just remember what happened to Arsenal’s Invincibles. They collapsed after losing against Manchester United and never recovered.
That seems impossible for Liverpool, as the team will certainly win the English Premier League this season. However, dropping the tempo a bit could be enough to see the Reds crashing out of the Champions League and the FA Cup.
Exiting the domestic competition won’t bother Klopp, but the shift in the momentum might be a problem. That’s why I expect a rather strong side today and that will be a problem for Chelsea.
Under normal circumstances, I would probably back Chelsea to win this one because Jurgen Klopp doesn’t care too much for the FA Cup. We’ve seen him field weakened sides time and time again, but it could be different on Tuesday.
The manager will be desperate to avoid a slump in this key moment of the season, so he will go for the victory here, in my opinion. That’s why I see the value in the betting odds for Liverpool to win here that are around the 2.50 mark.