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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Chelsea v Liverpool form, tactics, team news, betting tips and key stats

Huge top-of-the-table Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea's pass master Jorginho will be key against Liverpool
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Premier League
BT Sport 1, 5.30pm Saturday

Chelsea 2-1 188Bet
Liverpool 7-5 Betfair
Draw 13-5 general 

Forget the phoney war of Wednesday's EFL Cup tie between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield - the Premier League is what really matters to Maurizio Sarri and Jurgen Klopp, meaning Saturday's Stamford Bridge showdown is the biggest match of the season so far.

Liverpool have made their best start since 1990-91 with six straight league wins, but Chelsea have almost matched them stride for stride, dropping points for the first time in Sunday's 0-0 draw at West Ham. Sarri's outfit had a legitimate excuse having arrived back late from their Europa League game in Greece.


The tactical battle
This match could revolve around Chelsea's pass master Jorginho, whose knowledge of the Napoli playbook has made Sarri-ball possible for the Blues so soon into the tenure of their new manager.

No player has had more Premier League touches nor made more passes but the deep-sitting playmaker will be under pressure for the first time since he arrived in England as Liverpool's pressing machine gets ready to make mincemeat of another opposition engine room.

If Jorginho can play through the press Chelsea will be in business as they look to free up Eden Hazard, but Spurs and PSG were unable to do that in recent defeats. Liverpool were just too energetic, too strong, too quick and simply too good.


Team news
Centre-back Antonio Rudiger is a major doubt for Chelsea, who must also check on Pedro's shoulder injury. No regular starter is likely to be out for the visitors. 

Liverpool have the more potential matchwinners in Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane compared to Chelsea, who are ultra-reliant on Hazard to light up a match, and if the Merseysiders can match their performance away to Tottenham they should come away with another huge result in the capital.
Liverpool to win 2-1.

Key stats
Chelsea midfielder Jorginho's tally of 689 Premier League passes this season is 96 more than any other player.

Liverpool have also been leading at half-time in all six of their Premier League wins this season.

Both teams have scored in 12 of the last 14 Premier League meetings.

Eden Hazard is averaging a goal every 79 minutes in this season's Premier League.

Liverpool have scored the most goals from non-penalty set-pieces in this season's Premier League (five). Chelsea have none.

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Liverpool have also been leading at half-time in all six of their Premier League wins this season
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