Chelsea vs Liverpool: The key battles that could decide the result

by Back Page Football

The tie of the Premier League weekend fixture list is undoubtedly the clash at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Liverpool. There will be a lot of passion and will to win showcased by both teams as much is at stake, however a number of key areas could decide the game.

Andre Villas Boas’ men have shown inconsistency of late, and the Manchester clubs threaten to run away with the title if Chelsea are not careful. The Stamford Bridge faithful will be smarting after the recent 5-3 defeat to Arsenal, and will look to rebuild the strong home record that was the backbone of their triumphant 2009-10 campaign. Liverpool meanwhile are yet to deliver on the improved performances of the tail-end of last term, and have looked toothless at times; Sunday’s fixture will be a testament to how far they have come in the last year and the start of a number of tricky fixtures for Kenny Dalglish’s men.

Despite countless factors having a say in the outcome of the game, football statistics go a long way in to rationalising the occurrences in the beautiful game; a number of key match ups could decide which way the three points go.

Fernando Torres vs Luis Suarez

These two strikers see themselves at the opposite ends of the confidence spectrum; the Spaniard is desperate to prove himself to The Blues fans, whilst the South American has become the Anfield club’s main man. The use of an accurate and reliable statistics website like WhoScored.com can compare the duo, and show the reasons behind their contrasting performances.

Suarez’s four goals and one assist in the league to Torres’ two strikes are only the tip of the iceberg. The Liverpool man has 4.6 shots per game compared to the 2.1 of his Chelsea counterpart, and Suarez picks on average 1.8 key passes per match contrasting to Torres’ 0.5 per outing.

Torres will be out to prove his former club wrong, whilst Suarez will hope the racism scandal surrounding him does not effect his play; each side have a match winner in attack – one is on form, one is clearly not.

Ramires vs Lucas Leiva

These fellow Brazilian internationals compile two of the less glamorous players in multi-million pound squads, but the midfield battle will undoubtedly have a key baring in the outcome of the game. Both players have had questionable periods in their time in England, but now look to have ironed out a spot in their respective starting line-ups.

Leiva’s defensive qualities in front of the Liverpool back-line at times go unnoticed, but should not be ignored. The ex-Gremio battler makes on average 5.6 tackles per game, 2.1 intercepts and 1.1 clearances. These statistics are favourable in comparison to the Chelsea man’s figures; WhoScored.com shows that Ramires has completed 3.2 tackles per outing, 1.8 interceptions and 0.8 clearances.

With Juan Mata and Charlie Adam looking to pick a pass to unlock their opposition rearguard, each holding midfielder’s role will be vital in their team’s success; Ramires will be asked to increase his workload and take example from Lucas’ statistics if the home side are to get three points.

So before you head into the bookies ready to surrender your earnings on a whim, or ahead of debating the potential winner of this Premier League clash of the titans down the pub, look to the statistics. WhoScored.com offers up the latest, in-depth and thorough stats that can back up your argument with proof, and will offer an explanation for the eventual victor come Sunday.

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