It does seem awfully early in the season to be thinking about European football (unless you’re a Wolves fan), but Liverpool’s face-off with Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup has a nice feel to it – an intriguing curtain-raiser to the continental football season.
Champions League winners Liverpool very much picked up from where they left off last campaign, putting newly-promoted Norwich to the sword in the Premier League opener. Chelsea, who of course claimed the Europa League title, were very much on the receiving end of a demolition job at Old Trafford, in what was quite a concerning opening display for Frank Lampard to digest. The barefaced stats look OK as far as Chelsea are concerned, but a 2.18-1.33 xG deficit tells a more damning story; Chelsea had plenty of attempts, but David de Gea was rarely stretched.
It should be pretty interesting on Wednesday, but the result is beyond any doubt in my opinion; Chelsea defended poorly against Manchester United, and while they did threaten the hosts early on, it’s not enough to convince me they’ll lay much of a glove on Jurgen Klopp’s men.
There are simply not enough goals in this Chelsea side. Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud won’t cut the mustard as a top six centre-forward should, while the loss of Eden Hazard will also take a while to get over.
You know what you get with Liverpool at this point, and it’ll be too much for Chelsea.
At +170, Liverpool to win with a -1.5 asian handicap looks a very solid bet. The last meeting between these two ended 2-0 in the Reds’ favor, and Liverpool look so much stronger in all departments than Wednesday’s adversaries.
2u - Liverpool -1.5 @+170
I’ve gone a little rogue with this last pick, but it’s for Virgil Van Dijk to score first.
Hear me out here…
Though his goalscoring record in the early part of his Liverpool career was strangely paltry for a man of such stature, VVD has now scored seven goals in his last 23 appearances for club and country, which is a really solid return from centre-back.
Of course, Liverpool have a whole number of players who can (and probably will) score first on Wednesday, but Van Dijk has already opened his account for the season with a goal against Norwich, and +1600 for the Dutchman to find the net first against what looks like a pretty porous Chelsea is probably worth a nibble.
1u - Virgil van Dijk [First Goalscorer] @+1600