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Liverpool v Chelsea: Having studied our hosts, here are their defensive weaknesses.

Chelsea travel to Anfield on Sunday afternoon looking for a repeat of what happened five years ago to hit their charge for the Premier...



Chelsea travel to Anfield on Sunday afternoon looking for a repeat of what happened five years ago to hit their charge for the Premier League title and to spoil their party. Chelsea need a win to maintain our own aim this season.

As with five years ago, it seems as though Chelsea have been written off before a ball has even been kicked which is ridiculous. The media would have you believe that all Liverpool must do here is turn up to win the game to keep the pressure on Manchester City. Jurgen Klopp and his side are to continue their current good run of form as Chelsea will be no match for them. If you believe the same you can head over to MustardBet to place your wager. 

However, as Liverpool fans will and still remember, sometimes in life you do not get exactly what you want, and Chelsea are more than capable of upsetting the apple cart once again on Merseyside. In fact, I believe that Chelsea can expose Liverpool’s defensive weaknesses in their game as I will state below.

The Liverpool defensive weakness.

I have been studying Liverpool’s defence and most of the goals they have conceded since the turn of the year ahead of the game on Sunday. As a result, I do not buy into all the hype about Virgil van Dyck and his teammates. They can be got at, forced backwards and you can create real clear-cut opportunities against him/them. To this day, I will never understand how Tottenham lost the game against Liverpool the other week but, in saying that, it gave us all a clear indication that at times in games they are frail, push too many people forward and leave themselves exposed.

Fullbacks.

Their fullbacks deserve immense credit this season and no-one is going to argue otherwise. They have managed to force their influence in games going forward which is all part and parcel of the way they play with the likes of Mane and Salah moving inside to create the space.

However, there is no cover for them when they lose the ball with the framework of their side relying on their defensive midfielder to scuttle across to challenge. If, playing as Chelsea do at times, we can hit Liverpool on the counter-attack into the space left by their fullbacks, to then work the ball around the covering midfielder quickly, we will have a fantastic opportunity to attack their two centre-backs.

Defend narrow when retreating towards their own box.

One thing I have noticed on numerous occasions is that when Liverpool lose possession of the ball, they retreat towards their own goal and encourage their fullbacks to tuck inside – leaving the space out wide free. There are also huge gaps that appear as a result between their midfield and defence with an expectation on Mane and Salah to get back and defend the wide areas. Both cannot tackle and will not literally bust-a-gut to do it.

Chelsea are at their very best when we play at tempo, move the ball forward quickly and play with real width. If we can isolate Eden Hazard on either of their fullbacks with either Willian or Callum Hudson-Odoi doing the same on the other side, or to find space in-behind their runs forward then we are in business. We just to make sure we use the ball in the right way to make the goalkeeper work.

Ball-watching, not watching out for a late run into the box.

Frank Lampard if he was still playing these days would literally have a field day against their midfield and the work defensively, they do without the ball. They have a real tendency to work hard to get back which is commendable but, in doing so, most get caught ball-watching or being drawn towards the ball rather than look off their shoulder for an opponent making a run into the box.

They have been several examples where the ball is played out wide as their opponent gets to the byline and as he does, their back-four has been sucked deep almost to their six-yard box with the midfield level with the penalty spot – all watching the ball. If we find ourselves in that moment in the game, then all it takes is a ball pulled back to the edge of the box for someone to step up with time and space to strike the ball towards goal. Someone like Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek or even Eden Hazard would hopefully be able to take advantage.

Conclusion.

We all know the attacking threat that Liverpool pose up front and in those wide areas we are talking about here. I do not need to document them, but I will acknowledge them, I just want to focus on where I personally believe Liverpool’s defensive frailties are having watched the goals they have conceded.

They are not invincible; they are a good side, but they ARE beatable as we have already shown at Anfield this season.

When we have Eden Hazard in your side, with the way he is playing, we always have a chance!

Bets of note with MustardBet are:

Chelsea to win the game - 5/1


Chelsea to win 1-0  - 15/1


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