Chelsea and Liverpool have the honour of kicking off the fifth round of the English Premier League because neither team qualified for a UEFA competition and one thinks that their match on Friday will not feature a clean sheet.
Clean sheets were part of Chelsea’s make-up in its Jose Mourinho eras but the Blues have not shut out many sides recently. Chelsea has conceded at least one goal in 21 of its last 23 competitive games, with the Blues only keeping Aston Villa and Burnley to nil since early February. N’Golo Kante’s arrival has bolstered Chelsea’s central midfield but the Blues are vulnerable at the back with Branislav Ivanovic and John Terry past their best. Chelsea coach Antonio Conte must be itching to switch to a three-man defence but that is going to take some time even though David Luiz is back at Stamford Bridge. One cannot see Conte changing systems for the visit of Jurgen Klopp’s high-pressing Liverpool team.
Like Chelsea, Liverpool has kept just one clean sheet this season and it was against second-tier Burton in the English EFL Cup. One was tempted by the fairly big odds available about Liverpool beating Chelsea but one could not overlook both sides to score at -167 with BoyleSports. That rates as the best bet on offer on the English Premier League program.
Everton will entertain Middlesbrough in English Premier League action on Saturday. One feels that Everton has not received sufficient credit for its unbeaten start to the tournament and that Middlesbrough has been showered with unmerited praise – remember, Boro participated in a truly awful match versus West Bromwich and last time out they slumped to a dreadful -2 home loss to Crystal Palace.
Freakishly, Everton and Middlesbrough have faced three of the same four English Premier League opponents – Stoke, Sunderland and West Bromwich. According to one’s English Premier League collateral form analysis, Everton enjoys a 3-0-0 lead over Middlesbrough and, therefore, one likes Ronald Koeman’s Toffees at odds of -133 with William Hill.
Finally, one thinks that there is a high probability of West Ham bouncing back to winning form when the Hammers tackle West Bromwich in the English Premier League on Saturday.
Slaven Bilic was apoplectic with rage at the manner in which West Ham capitulated at home to Watford last time out, going from leading 2-0 through two Michail Antonio goals inside 33 minutes to losing 2-4 after conceding four goals in a horror 23-minute spell punctuated by the half-time interval.
West Ham and West Bromwich have both tackled Bournemouth in the English Premier League, with the Hammers defeating the Cherries 1-0 at the London Stadium and the Baggies losing 0-1 to Eddie Howe’s team at the Vitality Stadium. West Ham is trading at +180 with Bet365 and BetVictor to get the better of West Bromwich and, based on one’s English Premier League collateral form figures, the Hammers are overpriced.
Chelsea v Liverpool – Both Teams to Score
Friday 16th September, 20:00 GMT
Everton to beat Middlesbrough
Saturday 17th September, 17:30 GMT
West Ham to beat West Brom
Saturday 17th September, 15:00 GMT