Chelsea vs Liverpool: Alex the main man for Chelsea, not Torres
All of the talk before Chelsea’s latest clash with Liverpool will mainly revolve around Fernando Torres and Raul Meireles taking on their former club, but it is the appearance of Alex that could be most valuable to ensuring a home victory.
Chelsea have failed to inspire in recent weeks and have looked particularly shaky in defence as Andre Villas-Boas struggles to settle on the correct partner for John Terry between Alex, David Luiz and Branislav Ivanovic.
However, their only two clean sheets so far have been in the games where Alex has completed the 90 minutes and this fact alone means he has to start.
If Alex is selected, then Chelsea’s odds of 5/6 to beat Liverpool could be on the large side.
Victory is also almost imperative for Villas-Boas as a fourth defeat at this relatively early stage of the season would leave them a mountain to climb in the Premier League title race.
Liverpool not only won at Stamford Bridge last season, but they have also been tough to beat in the biggest games domestically under Kenny Dalglish.
It is 7/2 that Liverpool beat Chelsea again and in Luis Suarez they have the ideal man to take advantage of any defensive uncertainty. He will also be fully rested after being left out of Uruguay’s midweek friendly success over Italy.
Torres will obviously be a popular option in the first goalscorer betting and the Spaniard is 5/1 to strike first against his former club.
Meanwhile, Suarez is available at 8/1 and has to be the prime Liverpool candidate given that he has scored all barring six of the club’s league goals this season.
If Alex is picked, punters may also feel that 6/4 is good value on Chelsea keeping a clean sheet.