Analysis

FLIP’s Picks In-Play: Chelsea vs Liverpool

Written by Sam Hopkinson

With Mourinho currently listed at evens in the sack race betting odds, most fans are assuming that if Chelsea get beaten the Portuguese manager will get the boot (and a golden pay-off estimated to be £30 million). It’s like Sophie’s Choice—win and he stays as manager of one of the biggest clubs in the world, lose and he’s laughing all the way to the bank. Liverpool arrive at Stamford Bridge having won their first game under Klopp, a 1-0 League Cup victory over Bournemouth. However, their attack has been badly depleted by injury and it’s a lot to ask of young Origi to lead the line here.

DEFENDER

Nathaniel Clyne

When Liverpool wrestled Clyne from Southampton over the summer, everyone recognised that it was what the Merseysiders needed. And the England international had a good game against the Cherries midweek, delighting the home support with his well-taken goal. He may not have done the hard work but he was in the right place at the right time. Against Chelsea’s bizarrely inept defence Clyne should get an opportunity to clock at least an assist—and considering your other fantasy RB choice would be Branislav Ivanovic, it’s a no-brainer.

MIDFIELDER

Roberto Firmino

His new manager has told the press he believes Firmino was the best player in the Bundesliga last year, and should get better and better as the season goes on. The Brazilian can play as a 9 in a pinch, but it’s hard to see Klopp taking that kind of gamble in such a big game. Firmino was named MotM in his last game with his best performance since joining Liverpool, and FLIP Sports expects him to start this game. There is little doubt he’s a great player and obviously a worthy signing of most top teams—but is his best position not shared with Coutinho?

STRIKER

Loic Remy

Diego Costa looks to be ruled out with a rib injury, meaning Remy might get another brief chance to show his quality for Chelsea. The Frenchman is an excellent striker but he’s not good enough to be the main man on a long-term basis—and now that Mourinho’s magic touch has deserted him (temporarily), Falcao certainly isn’t going to improve much. Liverpool’s defence of Skrtel and Sakho is solidifying and with Chelsea misfiring Remy will have to be clinical with his chances—because he won’t get many.

HONOURABLE MENTION

Willian

In a season where his teammates are playing like strangers, Willian keeps fighting for the Blues. He is a classic Mourinho type player—working his socks off for the team, interspersed with occasional flashes of quality. The Brazilian has added set-piece nous to his game too, although his subsequent goals haven’t actually earned his team many points.

About the author

Sam Hopkinson

Sam has attended matches everywhere from Cambodia to Canada, and is a persistent Spurs fan. If he didn’t have football, he’d probably turn to a life of crime just to get that exhilarating fix. Superstitious enough to believe that picking a player for his fantasy team spells doom for the poor sod.