With their notable absences from both European competitions, the new Premier League timetable allows for these two heavyweights to go head-to-head on Friday night. Chelsea dropped their first points of the campaign against Swansea last weekend, while Liverpool come in off the back of a 4-1 thrashing of the champions.
It’s fascinating that Antonio Conte has predominantly laid faith in Mourinho’s Chelsea team. Swap Fabregas for Kante and it’s primarily the side that won the title before utterly failing to defend the following year. Conte’s success at Juve was built on a strong defence and he’s beginning to implement this into this Chelsea side that have yet to concede more than seven shots in a game. However, just two clean sheets in their last 18 league fixtures perhaps highlights the gulf in quality between Juve’s defensive stalwarts and his new club’s.
They’ll certainly be tested against a free flowing Liverpool side whose ‘we’ll score more than you’ tactic makes for an intriguing contrast in styles. No team in the league has scored more goals this calendar year than Liverpool, but a rocky defence has resulted in a W10-D7-L6 record over this period as they remain infuriatingly inconsistent under Jurgen Klopp.
Five of the Reds last 11 away matches have had at least four goals, as have half of their last eight visits to top-six clubs. The Bridge saw plenty of goals at the back end of last season with the last 11 having at least two strikes, eight seeing three or more and seven having at least four. This has continued under Conte where they’ve scored at least twice in every game he’s been in charge, so with two questionable defences and plenty of attacking quality on show over 3.5 goals looks a safe bet.