Much has been made of Jose Mourinho’s intentions to rest key figures for Chelsea’s trip to Liverpool, having admitted defeat in the Premier League title race following last weekend’s loss to Sunderland.
The west Londoners lack of friends ahead of this one is epitomised by the bwin odds gurus boosting the price of an away win from 7/2 to an incredible 4/1.
Don’t be duped by the Special One’s on camera shenanigans and side with this immense offering, for the Portuguese has been admitting his side have no chance in the race to land the top-tier crown all season long, but that hasn’t prevented his charges going mighty close to winning it.
As well as the visitors’ win-draw-win stake, there’s also the mammoth 9/2 about an away clean sheet to ponder ahead of this meeting of master and apprentice.
Sign up at bwin.com this very day to trouser a £30 free bet that when wagered on the Reds being unable to banish the bagel from their half of the scoreboard could see punters profit £142.50.
Brendan Rodgers worked under Mourinho during the Portuguese’s first spell in charge of the Blues and the Ulsterman will know all about his former boss’ expertise when it comes to both rearguard action and media manipulation.
Here’s why punters must bet in favour of no home goals in this one:
Chelsea’s backline returned from trips to Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal (twice) unblemished this term.
The first Emirates shutout is the most relevant ahead of this clash, with Mourinho stating he would give his most frequently called upon stars a breather with the game falling two days after a Premier League tear up with Man City.
A strong team was sent into battle in spite of statements to the contrary, with Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta and Samuel Eto’o among the full internationals that helped beat the Gunners 2-0 in the Capital One Cup.
They may have been a little shaky of late, but no side has recorded more top-flight clean sheets than the Champions League semi-finalists.
Just under half of their league matches have ended with the opposition unable to break the deadlock.
Stretching the criteria to include continental clashes, Chelsea have kept four of their previous five adversaries quiet, the latest a master class in miserliness against Atletico Madrid – expect a similar approach to be adopted at Anfield.
During his first three full seasons in charge at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho oversaw eight clean sheets kept against Liverpool.
As expected, the bulk of these were recorded at base camp, but a commendable quarter of them occurred on Merseyside; the Portuguese gaffer is no stranger to stifling the Reds’ best attacking efforts.