Chelsea v Liverpool: Capital One Cup
It’s Chelsea v Liverpool in Capital One Cup Semi Final 2nd Leg action tonight from Stamford Bridge…
Chelsea are set to recall key players such as Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Diego Costa and Nemanja Matic, who sat out the FA Cup defeat to Bradford City.
John Obi Mikel (head) and Andre Schurrle (back) are injury doubts.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that Daniel Sturridge will return to action in the next seven days.
Rodgers hopes the former Chelsea and Manchester City forward will be fit enough to feature in Tuesday’s Capital One Cup semi-final second leg encounter at Stamford Bridge but, if Sturridge fails to feature in that game, he will definitely be in the Reds side that faces West Ham United in the Premier League next weekend.
We will see how he is for Tuesday but if he is not ready for Tuesday he will be back for sure against West Ham next weekend.
Sturridge has not featured for Liverpool since the end of August because of a thigh injury and Rodgers is aware that the England international will be lacking match sharpness.
“Now it is just about getting that condition with football fitness and game fitness,” he said. “We will see how he is for Tuesday but if he is not ready for Tuesday he will be back for sure against West Ham next weekend.”
- Liverpool have scored in each of their last six visits to Stamford Bridge in all competitions.
- The Reds won three successive games away to Chelsea in 2011 but are without a victory in their subsequent three visits (D1, L2).
- The 4-2 defeat to Bradford City on Saturday was the Blues’ first loss in 17 league and cup games at Stamford Bridge (including 16 matches this season).
- It was also the first time a side coached by Jose Mourinho has conceded four goals in a home game.
- The Blues have scored at least twice in each of their last 13 games at Stamford Bridge in all competitions.
- Chelsea have won the League Cup four times, including 2005 and 2007 under Mourinho. They were also runners-up in 2008, and lost in the semi-finals to Swansea two seasons ago.
- In 11 previous semi-final appearances, the Blues have reached the final just six times.
- The Reds have won five successive away games in all competitions since their 3-0 defeat at Manchester United on 14 December.
- Liverpool are the most successful club in League Cup history with eight trophies and 11 finals.
- But this is only the second time Liverpool have progressed beyond the fourth round in seven seasons; on the other occasion (2011-12) they went on to win the competition.
- The Reds have progressed through their last four semi-finals in the League Cup since going out to Middlesbrough. Of their previous 14 appearances in the last four, Liverpool have reached the final on 11 occasions.
- Steven Gerrard has scored one goal in 37 career appearances against Chelsea in all competitions.
Chelsea are a wounded animal and will be raring to go. The Blues have beaten the Merseysiders in three of the clubs’ last four meetings.
Their three-man defence will be sorely tested and Chelsea’s price of 1.66 is probably about right given their home record and their recent successes against Liverpool, but I think it’s a bit short for me to recommend.
If Liverpool get their noses in front, it could open the game right up. If Chelsea score the opener, they may try to shut things down.
Games between these two sides have produced goals in recent seasons. In the last eight meetings, five have produced three goals or more.
Liverpool have scored at least once in 15 of their last 18 games, and both teams have scored in seven of their last eight games against Chelsea.
Regardless of the result, I think Liverpool could well grab a goal, so BTTS=YES looks sound at 1.9.
Chelsea will be keen to wash off the stain of that Bradford defeat as quickly as possible, and should will fly at Liverpool in the opening exchanges.
In six of the clubs’ last eight encounters, Chelsea have led at half-time, and in the 34 games they have played this term in all competitions, they have had the half-time advantage in 21. At Stamford Bridge that figure is 12 out of 16.
Based on those numbers, I would suggest that Chelsea are a touch overpriced in the Half Time market at 2.26.
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