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The odds for Chelsea vs Liverpool are from the DraftKings sportsbook, which is offering $200 in free bets after you bet $5.
This promises to be an intriguing match and one you will not want to miss.
As Chelsea get ready to begin a new Premier League campaign, the only way is up. That is technically not true, but it is hard to envisage the Blues having a worse season in 2023/24 than they did in 2022/23.
Last term was disastrous for the London club. Despite spending around £600m on new signings as incoming chairman Todd Boehly sought to make his mark, Chelsea slumped to a 12th-place finish. Pound for pound, it was perhaps the worst ever Premier League season of any club.
Chelsea fans will hope Boehly has learned his lesson. His approach to recruitment was scattergun and haphazard last term, as numerous players were signed without any idea of how they might fit into a functioning collective.
Boehly wielded the ax too soon, sacking Thomas Tuchel - an elite manager who has proved himself at the highest level - after just a few weeks. Graham Potter was out of his depth as Tuchel’s successor, while Frank Lampard was unable to instigate an upturn as an interim boss.
Chelsea desperately need a more stable environment if they are to enjoy success this season. With Mauricio Pochettino at the helm, they might just get it - so long as Boehly does not interfere in first-team matters.
Chelsea have slimmed down their bloated squad this summer, which was always going to be essential. An insipid attack only scored 38 goals last term, so the arrival of Nicolas Jackson and Christopher Nkunku brings some much-needed firepower up top.
Axel Disasi joins a promising pool of center-backs led by the evergreen Thiago Silva, while the Blues are still hoping to strike a deal to sign Moises Caicedo from Brighton & Hove Albion. The midfield does look light at present following the departures of Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
A title bid will probably be beyond Chelsea in Pochettino’s debut campaign, so a push for the top four is the main aim at Stamford Bridge.
Liverpool will have their sights set higher, but whether they can mount a sustained title tilt remains to be seen. The Reds have shown in the past that they are capable of going toe-to-toe with Manchester City, but last season was a disappointment.
The club made a positive start to the summer transfer window. Midfield was the area most in need of strengthening, especially after James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain departed, and Liverpool acted quickly to bring in Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai.
But Klopp’s plans were derailed by Saudi Arabia’s Pro League, two of whose clubs acquired Fabinho and Jordan Henderson last month. That has left Liverpool looking very light in the engine room, and their long-running pursuit of Romeo Lavia has proved fruitless so far.
Liverpool could also do with another centre-back to cover for Ibrahima Konate and Virgil van Dijk, so their business is very much incomplete with a few weeks of the window remaining.
This may well end up being a transitional year for Liverpool, who may be in a better position to challenge for the biggest prizes in 2024/25. The competition for the top four is fierce these days and the Reds can no longer take Champions League qualification for granted.
With Henderson and Fabinho elsewhere and Stefan Bajcetic out injured, Liverpool look set to go with Curtis Jones in the holding midfield role on Sunday. Jones is a good player but that is not his natural position, so Chelsea will no doubt target him.
Liverpool often found themselves defensively exposed last season because the press was not as effective as before and the backline was not afforded adequate replacement. With the speed of Jackson, Raheem Sterling and Mykhailo Mudryk, that is something Chelsea will look to exploit in transition.
But Liverpool can at least draw confidence from their own options in forward areas. Few teams in the division can match the Reds for attacking strength in depth. Klopp will choose from three of Darwin Nunez, Cody Gakpo, Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz at Stamford Bridge.
With all that in mind, we expect a few goals to be scored in this one. Chelsea struggled in that regard last season but they will be looking to make a positive early impression under Pochettino, while Liverpool possess enviable firepower.
Go for over 2.5 goals and both teams to score when these two Premier League heavyweights go head-to-head.
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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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