Chelsea’s shocking 2-1 loss to Sunderland left Liverpool five points clear atop the table with only three matches remaining. The Reds own a nine-point lead over Man City, which has played two fewer matches than Liverpool.
In midweek wagering, sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark had Liverpool as the Premier League betting favorite at -110, with Chelsea at +260 and a draw line of +240.
Even if the Reds lose this match, Chelsea and Man City both need help. But help may be hard to find, as Liverpool’s last two matches are facing Crystal Palace on the road and Newcastle at home. Both squads are in the middle of the league pack.
Liverpool has at least made it interesting as of late. In its last three matches, it is 3-0 but has given up five goals while scoring eight. In its last match, it gave up two goals to a Norwich City squad that is fighting to stay out of the relegation zone.
Chelsea has a chance if it can press the issue on offense. The Reds have scored the most goals in the league, but their defense has allowed 44, which is only the seventh-fewest in the EPL.
The Blues have scored five goals in their last four matches, but three came in one match.
Chelsea goals leader Eden Hazard missed the Sunderland match due to injury, and he is questionable for this big EPL encounter. Samuel Eto'o did score in the Blues’ last match, and he and Oscar may have to carry the torch for the Chelsea attack.
Raheem Sterling scored two goals in the Reds’ last match, and Luis Suarez (whose Uruguay national team inched slightly upward in World Cup future odds) and Daniel Sturridge are the two leading scorers in the EPL.
The Chelsea defense will have its hands full. While Sturridge did not play in the Norwich match, he may be fit for this one. The line could move further in Liverpool’s favor this week if he is confirmed ready to play.
Earlier this season at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-1. Last season at Liverpool, these two teams played to a 2-2 draw.
The Blues dominated the time-of-possession battle against Sunderland. But if they lost that match to the league’s last-place team, how will they fare at Liverpool?
Not only does Chelsea have to win this match to stay alive for the league title, but it also has a big Tuesday night encounter in Madrid in the semifinals of the Champions League.
Prediction: 3-1 Liverpool
Odds, stats and matchup data courtesy of Odds Shark’s soccer handicapping section.