Why Liverpool still have edge over Chelsea in title race

Barclays Premier League

by Nikki Adams

Change is the operative word in Premier League winners market following match day 14 as new title favourites emerge, Chelsea. Man City slip to second best free bets while Liverpool maintain their position as third overall faves in Premier League outrights.

Despite the betting odds, Chelsea and Liverpool have a key advantage over the rest of the field that could prove deciding towards domestic glory: no European football. Indeed the pair have been holding court over the rest of the field in the top two spots for the better part of the last couple of months.

Reds fans can take it a step further: Liverpool has one up on Chelsea in head-to-heads, and, arguably, they have more depth and playmakers to rely on especially when the season begins hurtling towards the finish line. Just a few things to consider when taking advantage of free bets in Premier League Outrights at the sports betting exchange.

Domestic Focus

When a club isn’t otherwise engaged elsewhere it’s imperative to take advantage and do well in domestic action, particularly if it’s perceived a legitimate title challenger. Up until match day 14, that was the case for the top tandem of Chelsea and Liverpool. Then the shocker for the ages occurred at Vitality Stadium, one from which irredeemable Reds fans are still reeling and Liverpool slipped down into third place.

Bad though it was – the epitome of ‘football from hell’. To borrow a phrase Klopp coined following the 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge (although he probably meant it in a different context) – the Reds did manage to claw their way back into second place in the ensuing two rounds. A draw to West Ham and a commanding win over the Middlesbrough did the trick. Well, so did Everton upsetting Arsenal 2-1 on match day 16.

Match Day 14….

Antonio Conte’s Blues produced a sensational second half performance at Manchester City on match day 14 to move four points ahead of Liverpool and Pep Guardiola’s Citizens, the latter of which were fancied to win the league across sports betting markets since betting odds went to press in the summer. It follows they were the top free bet in many Premier League betting circles.

For the first time in the 2016 campaign that principality now belongs to another club. Even a tempestuous Guardiola could do nothing but tip his hat to his Italian counterpart; in just four feverish months the dapper Italiano has turned the Premier League title race on its head.

Heading towards the Christmas Break..

As the Premier League season hurtles towards the Christmas Break, Chelsea assume a six-point lead at the top of the Premier League table. Liverpool nudge ahead of Arsenal but are level on 34 points ahead of match day 17, while Man City are safely ensconced in fourth place.

To look at Premier League outrights now in order to get in on the free betting action is to get a different sense of hierarchy.

Premier League Outrights ahead of Christmas

Chelsea – 1.80 Bet365
Man City – 5.50 Winner
Liverpool – 7.00 888sport
Arsenal – 8.50 Bet Victor
Man United 29.00 Stan James
Tottenham – 31.00 Paddy Power

Current as of Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Third best free bet Liverpool can take heart. Klopp’s side does have a win over Conte’s suddenly fancied Blues, which can’t be overlooked should it come down to a close dramatic finish in England’s top flight.

Indeed, back in September when Klopp’s Reds dealt Chelsea a 2-1 loss at Stamford Bridge, the Blues were trading as high as 32.00 to win England’s top flight crown. (Goes to show how quickly things can change as far as the betting odds go in proportion to a realistic title challenge, not least how to approach free bets in general.)

Liverpool well in the mix

Let’s not forget, Liverpool did climb to the league’s summit only recently. Almost two months to the day after the win at Stamford Bridge, Liverpool moved into first place following a 6-1 victory over Watford on match day 11.

Short-lived though it was it’s still something Liverpool bettors and fans alike can hang their free bets on.

One of the main reasons why Chelsea did overtake Liverpool in the table is consistency. To date they boast the best active run of form in Premier League with eight straight wins.

In the form table (which looks at the last six fixtures home and away) that amounts to top spot with a 6-0-0 mark. One wonders how long the Blues can sustain this momentum though, a surge that has a lot to do with the renaissance of Diego Costa and, to some extent, Eden Hazard (the pair combine for more than half of the total goals scored by Chelsea).

It’s worth noting that Liverpool remain second on form and they are only four points adrift, which isn’t the end of the world. Liverpool does still have the 1-0 head-to-head advantage over Chelsea with a reverse date at Anfield slated for January 31 that could prove title-deciding yet.

Of course, the next few fixtures are going to be pivotal and Liverpool will need to keep pace with Chelsea in order to make that much anticipated clash count.

Chelsea’s next four fixtures: Crystal Palace (Away) Sat 17 Dec, Bournemouth (Home) Mon 26 Dec, Stoke City (Home) Sat 31 Dec and Tottenham (Away)Wed 4 Jan.

Liverpool’s next four fixtures: Everton (Away) Mon 19 Dec, Stoke City (Home) Tue 27 Dec, Manchester City (Home) Sat 31 Dec, and Sunderland (Away) Mon 2 Jan.

What might ultimately give Liverpool the edge in not only the next few weeks but also the clash with Chelsea is the enviable options at Klopp’s disposal.

Of the 34 goals Chelsea have to their credit, 19 are from the tandem of Costa and Hazard. That’s a heavy dependency on two players and with six months of football yet it could prove taxing on the pair. That’s not taking into account the potential of an injury to one or the other.

Of the 40 goals to Liverpool’s credit, the goals are spread out amongst many players from different key positions: Mane (7), Milner (5), Coutinho (5), Firmino (5), Lallana (5), Can (3) and Origi (3).

Being able to spread the game so will prove tough to defend against one would wager but, importantly, there’s an argument to be had that the club’s betting odds don’t rest on the form of one or two players alone. And that is significant when making free bets in Premier League outrights.