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The odds for Chelsea vs Liverpool have been taken from the DraftKings Sportsbook, which is offering a deposit bonus up to $1000.
The latter have a dismal away record in 2022/23, while the former continues to struggle for goals.
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Chelsea have not finished in the bottom half of the Premier League since the 1995/96 campaign, but there is a very real chance that the Blues will end the current campaign 11th or below. That is why Graham Potter was sacked as the club's manager following a 2-0 home defeat by Aston Villa on Saturday.
These are trying times for a club that were crowned European champions less than two years ago. Back in 1995/96, Chelsea were not the force they are now - so while their 11th-place finish that term was disappointing, it was not as much of a failing as the same final berth would be this year. Potter has paid the ultimate price.
The former Brighton & Hove Albion head coach had strengthened his position before the March international break, not least because he guided Chelsea to victory over Borussia Dortmund in the last 16 of the Champions League.
But after a 2-2 draw with Everton was followed by the aforementioned loss to Villa, Potter was relieved of his duties. Julian Nagelsmann has been linked with the post, but Bruno Saltor will serve as interim manager for Tuesday's encounter.
The Blues finished 10th in 2015/16, a poor campaign which did not mark the start of a longer downturn; in fact, they were Premier League title winners the very next campaign. But as things stand, it would take monumental effort for Chelsea to repeat the feat next season.
While he is clearly a talented manager, there were always doubts over whether Potter has the personality to lead a club of Chelsea’s size. Following the loss to Villa, the club's hierarchy decided he did not.
Things are not going much better over at Anfield. Liverpool are still in the top half of the Premier League at least, but they are already out of the Champions League and were also eliminated from the FA Cup relatively early on in that tournament.
The Reds’ latest disappointing result came at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. Despite taking the lead through Mohamed Salah, Jurgen Klopp’s charges were thrashed 4-1 by Manchester City, a team they have pushed all the way in recent campaigns.
It was a chastening experience for Liverpool, who were comprehensively dismantled by Pep Guardiola’s men in the second half. The defeat dealt another blow to their ambitions of finishing in the top four, which now looks like a long shot (the best online sportsbooks agree).
Liverpool simply must emerge triumphant in this rearranged midweek game to keep their hopes of Champions League qualification alive. At the time of writing they are eight points adrift of their target, although their position will worsen if Tottenham Hotspur are able to overcome Everton, Liverpool’s city rivals, on Monday.
Klopp insists he has the energy to lead a rebuild in the summer, as Liverpool attempt to challenge for major prizes once more. The German’s track record means he is still the right man for the job - he is one of the best managers in the world, after all - but Klopp needs to find a way to build some momentum ahead of the summer.
Liverpool do not have the worst record against their fellow members of the big six, but that is a mere crumb of comfort after back-to-back defeats by Bournemouth and Manchester City.
Be warned neutrals: this is unlikely to be an entertaining affair full of fluid, attacking soccer. That is in large part because both teams lack confidence on account of their underachievement this season. Liverpool and Chelsea drew 0-0 at Anfield in January, and this match is similarly likely to be low on goals.
There are more specific reasons for that. One is the very nature of Chelsea this season. Games involving the Blues tend to feature very few goals. Stamford Bridge has seen just 28 in 14 matches this term, the joint-lowest figure in the Premier League at the time of writing.
Even after the defeat by Aston Villa, Chelsea have the fourth-best defensive record in the division. But they rank only 13th for goals scored, while 10 of their last 12 games in all competitions have featured 2.5 or fewer.
As for Liverpool, they have been poor on the road all campaign and sit just 13th in the away table. They are averaging just one goal per match at opposition stadiums, which does not exactly bode well for this trip to west London.
From a betting perspective, the best choice for Tuesday’s encounter between Chelsea and Liverpool is under 2.5 goals.
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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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