The weekend’s fixtures in the Premier League start at Anfield, with Liverpool hosting Stoke.
On the face of it this looks like a straight forward home win. The hosts are looking to cement a Champions League position for next season and have been playing well enough to reach the semifinals of the continent’s most prestigious tournament. The visitors, on the other hand, are looking at relegation squarely in the face, lying four points off safety in 19th spot.
The head-to-head also suggests something similar, as Liverpool have not lost a league game at home to Stoke in 54 attempts.
The potential fly in the ointment is Liverpool’s Champions semifinal second leg on Wednesday, which suggests manager Jurgen Klopp will rotate players.
Still, Klopp won’t want to disturb his team’s rhythm too much, and the changes may not be extreme. Danny Ings came in last weekend, scoring in the draw with West Brom. He looked desperate to make up for lost time after a series of injuries, and we look for him to score twice.
The second live game of the day sees Chelsea traveling to Wales to take on Swansea.
It’s the home team that has relegation worries this time, while the visitors have s FA Cup final and an outside chance of Champions League qualification to play for.
Chelsea have been a difficult team to predict this season. It’s undoubtedly been a disappointing defence of last year’s title, but they have shown their clash on occasions in make no their way to the FA Cup final.
Swansea currently lie four points outside of the relegation zone, helped by a burst of 13 points from 15 at home. That said, they have now gone five games without a win, although four of those games were away from home.
We think Chelsea’s return to form–they are trying for a third successive away win having lost the previous three–has been helped by the addition of Olivier Giroud as a focus point up front. And we take the French striker to open the scoring today.
Liverpool/Stoke: Ings to score twice, 1 pt, at 11/2, bet365
Swansea/Chelsea: Giroud to score first, 1 pt, at 9/2, Paddy Power
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