Boring or not, Chelsea will receive a Premier League champions’ guard of honour from Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.
The title was secured with a textbook 1-0 grind against Crystal Palace at the same stadium last week, but it would be little surprise if, relaxed and free to express themselves, their clash with Brendan Rodgers’ men proved to be somewhat more decadent.
It will, after all, be a celebration, and one that makes eschewing the nonetheless generous 11/10 about a home win in favour of more lucrative goal-based gambles a worthwhile endeavour.
The Chelsea win/over 2.5 match goals double pays an alluring 12/5, while it’s less pragmatic cousin, a Blues victory in a game that witnesses more than 3.5 strikes can be backed at 21/4.
Jose Mourinho’s football is, first and foremost, about doing the necessary to ensure victory and his preferred recipe to create a mix of players with the highest-possible brilliance to diligence ratio.
However, now the necessary is done, there is a chance for the likes of Eden Hazard, Willian, Cesc Fabregas and even potential returnee Diego Costa to play with an uncommon exuberance with the shackles of avoiding failure cast off.
The latter also has the small matter of being Premier League top goalscorer to concern himself with – Sergio Aguero remains just three clear at the top of the charts.
Yet the visit of the Anfield club will also offer an opportunity for less-lauded members of the title-winning ensemble to shine their lights, with Filipe Luis expected to make the starting XI and January splurge Juan Cuadrado sure to be in contention due to Oscar’s injury.
Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel has been discussing his teammates’ keenness to aid Simon Mignolet in winning the Golden Glove award for most Premier League clean sheets this season ahead of the fixture, but arguably couldn’t have chosen a less opportune moment to do so.
Mignolet is currently top of the pops, but the Reds visits to other members of what looks increasingly like this season’s top four have been conspicuous for their indulgence of the opposition.
Both trips to Manchester saw them ship three times, while more recently Arsenal put four past them at the Emirates.
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