Defeat at Wembley put a different complexion on Liverpool’s season. With just a Carling Cup to show for their cup efforts, their dismal Premier League form comes under the microscope.
Eight defeats from 12 league games tells its own story but with cup distractions out the way, expect a response from Kenny Dalglish’s side.
Liverpool are 13/10 (2.3) favourites with Bet365 to avenge their weekend defeat.
Chelsea’s slim hopes of Champions League qualification are unlikely to muddy the waters for Roberto Di Matteo.
The Italian knows the club’s best chance of playing in Europe’s premier club competition next season – not to mention his best shot at personal glory – is in beating Bayern Munich on May 19.
As a result, it would be understandable if this was a subdued performance from the Blues, akin to their underwhelming effort against Newcastle at Stamford Bridge last week.
But with the likes of John Terry and Ramires suspended for the game in Munich and likely to feature here, Chelsea will still feel a positive result is in their grasp at Anfield.
Chelsea are 21/10 (3.1) with Bet365 to win this one. The draw is available at 12/5 (3.4).
A key protagonist in this one is likely to be Andy Carroll after the giant forward caused Chelsea all sorts of problems after coming off the bench on Saturday.
Carroll scored one and nearly found an equaliser in a spirited display that hinted at restored levels of confidence. He has shown glimpses of his talent but will be looking to find another big performance in this game to try and force his way into Roy Hodgson's England plans.
Carroll will surely start here and is 13/2 (7.5) to score first – the value bet in this one.
But in the other markets, everything points to another tight contest at Anfield.
There have been just 13 goals in eight home league games for Liverpool 2012 – and fewer than half of those came in the first-half.
Chelsea are also a tough customer in the early stages of games. Their nine away league games in 2012 have featured just four goals before the break.
In fact, of those 17 games referred to above only one has featured more than a solitary goal before the interval.
As a result, the 2/5 (1.4) available with Bet365 for under 1.5 goals in the first-half is a solid price and cannot be ignored.
|Under 1.5 goals by HT at 2/5 (1.4) with Bet365
||Carroll to score first at 13/2 (7.5) with Bet365
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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on Twitter