Who: Chelsea vs Liverpool
When: Sunday, September 22nd @ 11:30am ET
Line: Chelsea +275 | Draw +270 | Liverpool -105
Liverpool, because they got called for a totally BS, non-existent penalty on the road at Napoli. Chelsea, because they couldn’t figure out who should take — and ultimately not make — a penalty at home.
Liverpool sit atop the table in the Premier League, winning all five of their matches. They’re already five points clear of FFP violating Manchester City. Chelsea are in sixth. They’ve given up the second most goals (11) in the Premier League this season. Liverpool have scored the second most this season (15).
On paper it appears as if Liverpool should trounce Chelsea. However, games aren’t played on paper. Having said that, Liverpool will still probably trounce Chelsea.
Chelsea vs Liverpool Match Preview
These two sides played just over a month ago in Turkey for the UEFA Super Cup. That was actually one helluva close and even affair. Ending 2-2 in regulation, Liverpool ultimately won on penalties to become champions-er of Europe. Shots were even (21 for Liverpool, 20 for Chelsea), though the Reds put more on target (11 to 6). Possession and passes were a slight lean towards Liverpool.
Chelsea looked strong and confident in attack. This was arguably Christian Pulisic’s best match to date for Chelsea. Pedro and N’Golo Kante popped off the screen in that match as well.
Standouts for Liverpool were Sadio Mane and Mo Salah. However, the entire game changed when Roberto Firmino was subbed in (obv) to start the second half. He assisted on the two Mane goals and was simply brilliant, announcing to all that this will likely be his peak season.
All of that preamble is to say that if Frank Lampard wants a chance at a positive result on Sunday, he should follow the template of the UEFA Super Cup. Attack from the flanks, no sitting back, and take it directly to Liverpool.
Chelsea have been playing the youngest starting XI in Premier League history. That’s part of the reason they’ve been so up and down this campaign. It doesn’t help that Lampard isn’t experienced enough to handle this gig either. It all adds up to a squad that is capable of showing up big (beating Wolves 5-2 on the road) or laying a giant 💩 (losing to Valencia 1-0 at home).
Liverpool are much more cohesive and assured of who they are. They’ve been mostly consistent all season, with the exception of their Southampton match when they were noticeably gassed (it came right after the Super Cup).
Liverpool’s 2-0 loss to Napoli on Tuesday had whiffs of their UEFA Super Cup win vs Chelsea. Napoli deployed similar tactics. The only difference was Liverpool’s final product against Chelsea was better.
Sadio Mane scored two goals in the Super Cup. Mane’s touch was so heavy and poor vs Napoli it was like he grew club feet over night. Liverpool’s final product didn’t exist on Tuesday. They usually don’t go back-to-back games without finding the back of the net.
Chelsea are saying they’ll take out their Champions League frustrations against Liverpool. That’s adorable. It’s like when a puppy is frustrated you won’t play with it any more and gets a chew toy and shakes and growls with it in its mouth.
Liverpool will be taking out their frustrations as well, just in a more calm and composed manner. Jurgen Klopp will rotate Gini Wijnaldum back into the XI most likely and roll with his most trusted line-up. Liverpool know every single point matters if they’re going to win the Premier League this season. They will not play for a draw like they did too often in big matches last campaign.
Expect a lively first 20 minutes from Chelsea. Maybe they even slip one past Liverpool. As the game goes on, Liverpool will break Chelsea down mentally. Fabinho will boss the midfield and thwart Chelsea attacks. Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip will contain Tammy Abraham. Look for Trent Alexander-Arnold, who has made more key passes from open play this season (12) than anyone in the Premier League, and Andy Robertson to really drive the attack.
Liverpool end up with a 2-1 / 3-1 road win.
Where to Bet Premier Leauge in the US
In the US, you can legally bet the Champions League online in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Editor’s Note: This post will be updated after each matchweek is completed throughout the season.
Qualification for the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League is underway. The first matchweek is completed. PSG and Red Bull Salzburg shined. Liverpool and Real Madrid came away with poor results. Still, there’s a lot of soccer to be played.
2019-20 UEFA Champions League Title Odds
The following are 2019-20 UEFA Champions League title odds.
There was some real movement in the odds when the Group Stage draw results occurred. With another cakewalk to the knockout rounds, Manchester City improved from +450 to +300. The “Group of Death” didn’t hurt Barcelona (they actually moved from +600 to +500), but Borussia Dortmund (+3300 to +4000) and Inter Milan (+5000 to +6000) fell. RB Leipzig’s early season form and winnable group saw their odds leap from +8000 to +5000. Lyon also gets a Group G bump from +12500 to +6000.
After the first matchweek, despite a poor result at Napoli, Liverpool’s odds did not move. However, Napoli jumped from +6000 to +2500 (settled down, settle down, they’re not winning the UCL). Red Bull Salzburg’s hammering of Genk improved their odds from +40000 to +8500. The always underrated Ajax go from +8000 to +5000.
|Odds to Win Champions League||(As of September 19th, 10:00am ET)|
|Manchester City +333||Barcelona +550|
|Liverpool +700||PSG +800|
|Juventus +900||Bayern Munich +1100|
|Real Madrid +1400||Atletico Madrid +2000|
|Napoli +2500||Tottenham +3000|
|Borussia Dortmund +4000||Chelsea +4000|
|RB Leipzig +4000||Ajax +5000|
|Inter +6000||Valencia +6000|
|Lyon +8000||RB Salzburg +8500|
|Atalanta +15000||Zenit St Petersburg +20000|
|Bayer Leverkusen +20000||Benfica +25000|
|Shakhtar Donetsk +35000||Lille +35000|
|Dinamo Zagreb +40000||Red Star Belgrade +60000|
|Galatasaray +60000||Club Brugge +75000|
|Olympiakos +75000||Lokomotiv Moscow +100000|
|Genk +150000||Slavia Prague +150000|
Where to Bet on Champions League in the US
In the US, you can legally bet on soccer in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
What are the 2019-20 Champions League Group Stage Brackets?
A total of 32 teams are split into 8 groups of 4. The top 2 teams from each group advance to the knockout round.
|Group||Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4|
|Group A||PSG||Real Madrid||Club Brugge||Galatasaray|
|Group B||Bayern Munich||Tottenham||Olympiacos||Red Star Belgrade|
|Group C||Manchester City||Shakhtar Donetsk||Dinamo||Atalanta|
|Group D||Juventus||Atletico Madrid||Bayer Leverkusen||Lokomotiv Moscow|
|Group E||Liverpool||Napoli||Red Bull Salzburg||Genk|
|Group F||Barcelona||Borussia Dortmund||Inter Milan||Slavia Prague|
|Group G||Zenit||Benfica||Lyon||RB Leipzig|