Big Game Focus: Liverpool v Chelsea

Liverpool and Chelsea will square up in the Carabao Cup tonight in what will be the first of two clashes in a week. The encounter at Anfield will be followed by another in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.

Our Big Game Focus today takes a look at the massive battle tonight, with betting tips, team news and likely line-ups.

Betting tips

Both teams have enjoyed a great start to the season. Chelsea were held to a 0-0 draw by West Ham United over the weekend but before that had won every single one of their matches in all competitions. Liverpool maintained their 100% record so far with a 3-0 win over Southampton.

Both Teams to Score (BTTS) has occurred in three of the last four games between Chelsea and Liverpool, and with both teams in the form that they are currently in, the same could happen tonight. Odds are 1.60 here.

Out of the 17 goals that Liverpool have scored in all competitions this season, 12 have come in the first half. Before the West Ham match, Chelsea beat PAOK 1-0 and Cardiff City 4-1 in the Europa League and Premier League respectively. Four of those six goals were scored in the first half.

The same is true for the last goal scored between the two sides, when Olivier Giroud secured a 1-0 win for the Blues in May. Bet on the First Half With Most Goals at 3.15 here.

Matches between these two sides have been quite tight affairs in recent years. Only once – when Liverpool won 3-1 in October 2015 – has a Liverpool-Chelsea match ended with a victory of more than one goal. The rest have been either draws, or very narrow victories for either side. That win for Liverpool is just one of two times they have managed to beat Chelsea in the last 15 matches between them. Chelsea’s Double Chance odds are at 1.95 here.

Team news

We are likely to see a major reshuffle for both sides, as managers Jürgen Klopp and Maurizio Sarri look to keep their teams fresh. This could mean an opportunity for players like Nathaniel Clyne and Fabinho (Liverpool) and Victor Moses and Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea) to get some much-needed minutes.

Klopp has confirmed that Simon Mignolet and Dejan Lovren will start at the back for the Reds. Antonio Rüdiger is injured for Chelsea, which means that it could be an audition between Gary Cahill and Andreas Christensen for who will partner David Luiz on Wednesday.

Likely line-ups

Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Moreno; Henderson, Fabinho, Lallana; Shaqiri, Sturridge, Origi

Chelsea: Caballero; Zappacosta, Christensen, Cahill, Emerson; Loftus-Cheek, Fabregas, Barkley; Moses, Morata, Hudson-Odoi