This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has predicted that Chelsea will draw 2-2 with Liverpool this weekend.
The Blues face the Anfield outfit at Stamford Bridge this Sunday in what promises to be an exciting fixture. Frank Lampard and co have had a mixed start to the season as they sit sixth in the table. Their opponents, meanwhile, are five points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Although the Reds are in a better position, Nicholas believes that the south-west Londoners can get a result, predicting a 2-2 draw.
He said: “I think Frank Lampard wants to attack, which opens up the counter-attack scenario for Liverpool. They both got bad results in Europe (Chelsea lost to Valencia, while Liverpool were beaten by Napoli) through the week, they are making mistakes that they didn’t make last season and you can get at their defence.
“Pedro and Willian behind Tammy Abraham is a trio of danger. They need to find the killer pass in this game, which I think they will. Liverpool will pin them in when they can, but it will be an open game of football, which will see Liverpool drop their 100 per cent record.”
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Chelsea have been a joy to watch going forward at times this season. They have scored 13 goals in all competitions so far, including five in their last league game against Wolves at Molineux. Tammy Abraham, in particular, has been lethal, netting on seven occasions.
However, that attacking threat will be rendered irrelevant if their defensive concentration does not see a vast and immediate improvement, especially against a side of Liverpool’s quality.
The Blues have conceded at least two goals in all but two of their seven matches this term, which included four on the first day of the campaign at Old Trafford and two each against newly-promoted sides Norwich City and Sheffield United.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have already scored 15 times in the Premier League, which has only been bettered by Manchester City. Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have hit the ground the running already this term, and have 10 strikes between them already. As they showed so many times during the 2018/19 campaign, when they are on form, they are capable of ripping through any team in Europe.
So for this match to end 2-2, which would be a positive results for the hosts, Chelsea must make sure there are no silly mistakes in defence. They have already proved in the UEFA Super Cup final that they can go toe-to-toe with the Merseyside club on their day, and they can draw inspiration from that match in Istanbul, which incidentally ended with the scoreline Nicholas has predicted.
Chelsea’s frailties have been exposed since then though so to pull off a repeat, they must maintain their concentration. If they are again careless at the back, Jurgen Klopp and co will be waiting to take advantage.