It’s back to the Premier League after another week of European action, and the pick of this weekend’s games is surely the match at Anfield between Liverpool and Chelsea. The Reds are still reeling from giving up a three-goal lead away at Sevilla in the Champions League, while the Blues had a long trip back from Azerbaijan after beating Qarabag 4-0.
Chelsea are third in the Premier League and Liverpool fifth, but both are some way behind runaway leaders Manchester City in the title race. Saturday’s live TV game could go a long way to shaping the top four and impact on both sides’ chase for the top four – despite being at such an early stage in the season. One thing is for sure; for neutrals, it should be an excellent game to watch.
Crystal Palace are still rock-bottom of the table under Roy Hodgson and on Saturday afternoon they welcome Stoke to Selhurst Park. The Eagles secured a shock 2-1 win over Chelsea back in mid-October but that failed to kickstart their season and it’s now five without a win since then. The Potters are a modest 15th in the Premier League table but will take heart from decent away results at Watford and Brighton in recent weeks. This has all the makings of a tight match and Stoke are fair value to come away with something from their trip to the capital.
Another side that looks good value to get a least a point is Burnley, who entertain Arsenal on Sunday. The Gunners are odds-on favourites to win the match but considering that the two teams are level on 22 points, that looks like a remarkably short price. Arsenal’s away record is patchy at best this season, while the Clarets have won the last three games in a row without conceding a goal.
Liverpool v Chelsea
First up we’ll back over 2.5 goals at Anfield at odds of -141 with 888Sport.
Apart from the two Manchester clubs, Liverpool and Chelsea are the highest-scoring teams in the league. The Blues have tightened up defensively in the last few weeks – keeping four clean sheets in the last five games – but Liverpool very rarely fail to score, especially at Anfield. Chelsea have beaten Qarabag and West Brom 4-0 in their last two games, and edged a 1-0 win over a defensive Manchester United before that. However, they were exposed at the back in the 3-0 defeat away at Roma in the Champions League and Liverpool have the talent to cause problems.
Jurgen Klopp must have been disheartened to see his side give up a three-goal advantage at Sevilla on Tuesday night, and the game once again demonstrated the best and the worst of his Liverpool team. They have kept clean sheets in the last four home matches against Southampton, Huddersfield, Maribor and Manchester United, but Chelsea have scored on each of their last seven visits here and it would be brave punter who backed Liverpool to make it five shutouts in a row.
This really is a game that could go either way, so the smart bet is on over 2.5 goals.
Crystal Palace v Stoke
Stoke are fancied to grab at least a point from their trip to Palace, with the win-or-draw double chance listed at odds of -123 with 888Sport.
There have been definite signs of improvement at Selhurst Park since Roy Hodgson took the reins, but that has not translated into wins. They’ve been held to 2-2 draws by out-of-form sides West Ham and Everton in the last two at home, and although they beat Chelsea and Huddersfield (Carabao Cup) prior to that, they’ve also lost at home to Southampton and Swansea. The Eagles have only kept one clean sheet all season and that is a worrying sign for a side embroiled in a relegation battle.
Stoke are hardly having a vintage season either but there have also been signs of improvement for Mark Hughes’ side in the last few games. A 1-0 win at Watford was an impressive result three games ago, and they followed that up with 2-2 draws against Leicester and Brighton. They are the second-highest scoring side in the bottom half of the table and should be able to take advantage of Palace’s generous defence.
Burnley v Arsenal
Burnley look incredibly overpriced to avoid defeat at home to Arsenal at odds of +160 with Bet365.
The Gunners have only won one of six away games in the Premier League this season – the 5-2 thrashing of lowly Everton. In other games, they’ve lost away at Stoke, Liverpool, Manchester City and Watford, while grabbing a 0-0 draw at Chelsea. Arsene Wenger made 11 changes to his team for the midweek Europa League defeat in Cologne, keeping his big guns rested for this match, but that is no guarantee of a positive result.
Burnley are level on points with Arsenal in the Premier League table, the Gunners only ahead on goal difference. It’s been a superb start to the season for Sean Dyches team and they will relish the opportunity to test their mettle against one of the divisions best teams. They’ve only lost once at home all season, and only twice overall. Having already avoided defeat against Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs, the Clarets should have nothing to fear from Arsenal. The last three matches have garnered wins over Newcastle, Southampton and Swansea without conceding a goal, and they have the best defensive record outside the top two. At the odds, Burnley are definitely good value to get something from the game.
Liverpool v Chelsea – Over 2.5 Goals
Saturday 25th November, 17:30 GMT
Stoke or Draw – Double Chance
Saturday 25th November, 15:00 GMT
Burnley or Draw – Double Chance
Sunday 26th November, 14:00 GMT
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