SoftSport Leagues Blog


Chelsea - Liverpool, Arsenal - Manchester United: Preview

1xBet analyzes the key matches of the 21st round of the English Premier League.

Chelsea vs Liverpool, Arsenal vs Manchester United


Liverpool v Chelsea, January 21

If someone had said before the start of the season that will be the match between the ninth and tenth teams of the league, we would not have believed it. Liverpool won the 2019/2020 Champions League, and Chelsea won the title in the 2020/2021 season, both teams have a lot of money and great players, but this season their results can give only a heart attack. Will Saturday's match be the start of a great renaissance for at least one of the world's greatest clubs of the last decade?


Liverpool: can you play worse?

In the last round of the Premier League, Liverpool lost away to Brighton with a score of 0: 3 and after the game, Jurgen Klopp said he could not remember a worse game. And it's not only about brilliant Brighton which having its best season in history. It's not every day that a player from a club as modest as Brighton brings a World Cup to his team's home stadium, but that day Alexis McAllister made sure his teammates and Seagulls fans saw something special before the kick-off. Of course, the reasons for Brighton's victory should be looked at not only in this small show but on that day Brighton played against Liverpool in the way great champions could: 61% of the ball possession, 16 shots (9 shots on target), McAllister & Company's scorched midfield (Brighton scored the first 2 goals after Alexis intercepted the ball), Kaoru Mitoma's unstoppable runs on the left flank, Solly March's accurate and unexpected shots and Danny Welbeck's magnificent goal made nostalgic fans remember Pele's famous goal against Sweden in the World Cup 1958 final. Perhaps at this moment, the Liverpool manager felt like a fisherman who spent a lot on spinning and is forced to sit on the pier without a catch, watching his neighbor drag a first-class fish with a rope and curved rusty nail. You can’t win a fight with the glory of the past: Klopp will have to find the best use for new striker Cody Gakpo, explain to Mohammed Salah the basic principles of collective play, and remind midfielders that they don’t get paid for watching football from the best places.


Chelsea: a lot of money and nothing

Chelsea played their last match in the Premier League at home against Crystal Palace, won heroically 1-0, but Kepa can be called the best player of this match - it was the star time of the Blues goalkeeper whose great saves helped the team win in a half-empty stadium. However, a weak game is not the biggest trouble in the life of Chelsea fans. The main problem was money.

With the signing of Mihail Mudrik this season, Chelsea has already spent €475m on transfers - a phenomenal result for a club ranked tenth in the standings. It seems that the new club management is guided by the principle "Buy the best, then sell them all and buy new ones!" Many footballers who won the Champions League less than two years ago found themselves redundant at Stamford Bridge, but still in demand at Real Madrid or Barcelona. At the same time, no one gives new players time to adapt - they must show results here and now. The current Chelsea needs not new players, but a well-organized training process and a little time. But who knows when the management will understand this?


Arsenal v Manchester United, January 22

Rivals are on such an impressive run that their fans should be ordering the best TVs. However, if Arsenal took the lead already in the first half of the season and is flying at full speed to the title, then Manchester United began to demonstrate bright and productive football only after Ronaldo stopped entering the field in a red jersey. At the same time, the Gunners suffered their last defeat in the championship in the match against United. True, this happened on September 4 last year, but both teams probably did not forget about it.


Arsenal: no longer silent

A few days ago, Arsenal beat Tottenham in the North London derby and took another major step towards their first league award since 2004. And although in this match the Spurs had a little more possession of the ball and even made more shots on target, the Gunners played with great inspiration, fought for every ball, and even managed to agree with Fortuna - the first goal conceded turned out to be so ridiculous that Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris should have bought a book about the fight against bad luck. Of course, something like this should have been done before the final match of the World Cup 2022, but better late than never. One way or another, the result is on the scoreboard and the team is waiting for the Red Devils in a great mood.


Manchester United: everything is on fire

The divorce from Ronaldo turned out to be useful for both parties - Cristiano will be able to focus on such an important tournament as the Saudi Arabian championship, and Manchester began to win in every official match. The best deal of the season, yep? And although the victory of the Red Devils in the recent match against Man City did not look quite deserved (whatever the referee says, in the episode with the first goal, Marcus Rashford had active offside and disoriented the goalkeeper), luck is rarely objective. Whether we like it or not, United won with only 29 percent of ball possession and would not mind beating the best team in the league on their field.


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