Stats: Where has it gone wrong for Eden Hazard this season?

Eden Hazard won PFA Player of the Year for his performances in Chelsea’s title winning 2014/15 campaign, but this season he has looked a shadow of his former-self, so where has it gone wrong for the winger? Lewis Addley explores…

Chelsea’s fall from grace has been well documented throughout this season with fans and pundits alike trying to work out what has happened to the current Premier League champions.

The Blues haven’t struck fear into their opponents heading into games but things have improved at Stamford Bridge since the appointment of interim-manager Guus Hiddink back in December.

One player who has clearly struggled to find his form this season is Eden Hazard. Chelsea’s No. 10 has failed to reach his high standards, and even though his confidence is coming back, he is still a long way from the player who dazzled throughout last season.

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So let’s have a look at statistics from the key areas of Hazard’s game and see how they compare to those from last season.

 Eden Hazard Goals Assists Successful

Take-ons

Successful

Passes

Key

Passes

Shot

Accuracy

Total

Shots

Chances

Created

15/16 0 3 65 962 53 39% 26 56
14/15 14 9 180 1908 90 59% 78 99

Table: Eden Hazard’s key statistics from the 2014/15 Premier League season, compared to this term (statistics provided by Squawka).

Immediately we can see that Hazard has under-performed in every offensive statistic shown in the table above. Staggeringly, he is yet to find the back of the net in the Premier League in the current campaign, despite notching 14 last year.

He recorded nine assists last season, which isn’t a huge number, but he still has three-times less that amount in the current campaign.

The Belgian star’s game is built upon taking on his opponents and creating chances, whether that be from earning free-kicks or advancing at opposition defenders in menacing runs. This season we can see that he has been far more unsuccessful when taking on opponents, with his successful take-on percentage dropping from 64% to 60%.

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The 25-year-old playmaker has recorded less than half the amount of completed passes and almost half the amount of key passes too, meaning his influence on proceedings is notably less.

It is however, his shooting which arguably provides the most worrying statistic for Chelsea fans, as Hazard has had just 26 shots in his 26 appearances, compared to his 78 in 38 games from last season. His shot accuracy is just 39% compared to his 59% in the league in 14/15.

As a winger who is expected to produce the extraordinary, Hazard has only created 56 chances for his teammates whereas he provided them with 99 last season.

While we aren’t suggesting Hazard is individually the one to blame for Chelsea’s demise this term, his reduced input as one of the standout names in their squad has arguably played a huge part in why they are not looking anywhere near as dangerous in the final third of the pitch this season – the statistics speak for themselves.

Can Eden Hazard rediscover his form next season? Will he even be a Chelsea player in the 16/17 campaign?

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STATS: Was Jose Mourinho wrong to let these seven players leave Chelsea?

Chelsea‘s form has been a huge topic of conversation after each game so far this season for one reason or another, mostly down to below-par performances.

Key players are failing to provide quality in the same way they did last season, with the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa the subjects of heavy criticism.

Jose Mourinho has let some big names leave the club since his return in 2013, some of whom are enjoying great form in their domestic seasons with other clubs.

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With Chelsea under such pressure at current, it’s difficult not to ask whether some of those names should have been let go, so we took a look at some of those players’ statistics this season.

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 Former Chelsea players’ domestic league stats for the 2015/16 season (via Squawka)

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Petr Cech’s domestic league stats for 2015/16 as a goalkeeper (via Squawka)

Petr Cech comes out on top in terms of win percentage with an impressive 66.6% in the Premier League with Arsenal, which is 41.6% better than Chelsea’s overall win percentage of 25% in the top flight.

Romelu Lukaku, now at Everton, has bagged seven league goals so far this season. Chelsea’s highest individual goalscorer only has two (Diego Costa, Ramires and Willian).

The highest number of assists from those who have departed have come from Lukaku and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne on four. Cesc Fabregas, arguably Chelsea’s most creative player, has just one league assist after 12 games.

And perhaps most staggering is the fact that the highest number of losses suffered domestically out of the seven players is only three, four less than Chelsea’s worrying total of seven so far.

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While we are not suggesting Mourinho’s transfer policy is wrong, it is clear that his squad is lacking in creativity and goals this season. What we must not forget is that out of these seven players only Petr Cech and Andre Schurrle (departed January 2015) were in the Chelsea squad who won the Premier League last season.

But Chelsea fans would be forgiven for looking at the names in the table above and wishing they could bring them back to Stamford Bridge to try and turn the Blues’ campaign around.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Liverpool

Competition: Premier League – Chelsea vs. Liverpool

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Saturday, October 31 – 12:45 GMT (08:45 ET)

Match Odds: Chelsea 21/20 – Draw 12/5 – Liverpool 5/2

Match Preview

Chelsea welcome Liverpool to Stamford Bridge in the first Premier League game of the weekend on Saturday in what is a huge game for both clubs.

Chelsea’s ongoing struggles don’t seem to be improving and it is difficult to see when their season is going to pick up. The pressure on Jose Mourinho and his side every game is so intense but this is a good chance for them to show other sides they are capable of bouncing back.

They come into this one off the back of their midweek League Cup exit to Stoke City, losing 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in normal time.

Chelsea’s Premier League record: P10 – W3 – D2 – L5

Last weekend’s ill-disciplined loss against West Ham was the champions’ fifth Premier League defeat of the season and they come into the game sitting in 15th place.

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Liverpool sit six places higher in ninth but come into this one off the back of three consecutive league draws.

New manager Jurgen Klopp has a great chance of becoming even more of a fan favourite if he can guide his side to a victory in this huge tie.

Liverpool’s Premier League record: P10 – W3 – D5 – L2

Liverpool won 1-0 against AFC Bournemouth in the League Cup in midweek and will want to build on that solid performance with another good showing in London. They have already kept clean sheets at Arsenal and Tottenham this campaign, drawing both matches 0-0.

Klopp will have his side more than aware that Chelsea are not to be taken lightly despite their woeful form and will expect them to give their all to take three points.

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Team News

Chelsea have four injury concerns. Thibaut Courtois and Branislav Ivanovic remain out, while Diego Costa and Pedro are doubts. Nemanja Matic is suspended following his first-half red card last weekend.

Liverpool’s injury woes continue as Kolo Toure, Danny Ings, Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez and Jon Flanagan are set to miss out. Daniel Sturridge and Christian Benteke are doubts but the Liverpool faithful will be praying they both pass fitness tests.

Key Points

Chelsea’s last five in the Premier League: W/D/L/W/L

Liverpool’s last five in the Premier League: D/W/D/D/D

Key Stat: Stalemate – These two have drawn their last three meetings in all competitions.

Key Player: Willian – The Brazilian has probably been Chelsea’s best player so far this season. They need him to be at his very best if they’re to stand any chance of taking all three points in this one.

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Score Prediction

Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool – Liverpool to heap more misery on Chelsea, who just cannot seem to get going.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Newcastle United vs Chelsea

Competition: Premier League – Newcastle United vs. Chelsea

Venue: St James’ Park – Saturday, September 26 – 17:30 BST (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Newcastle 4/1 – Draw 14/5 – Chelsea 8/13

Match Preview

Newcastle United host Chelsea this weekend in a fixture which has thrown out some surprising results in recent years.

Newcastle have had a poor start to the season, with new manager Steven McClaren struggling to impose his style of play on the Toon.

The Magpies are yet to win a Premier League game and find themselves sitting 19th and are only not propping up the table due to goal difference. Their season needs to pick up, and fast, if they’re to avoid another slog to stay clear of the relegation battle. Newcastle fans will be left disappointed once again after the investment made over the summer.

They come into the game off the back of last weekend’s 2-1 away loss against Watford and, to make things even worse than they could be, they were knocked out of the League Cup in midweek by Championship side Sheffield Wednesday.

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Chelsea’s struggles seem to be improving after their awful start to the defence of their Premier League crown. Mourinho’s men saw off nine-man Arsenal in last weekends controversial tie.

The Blues sit 15th in the league at the moment and need to go on a lengthy unbeaten, but more importantly winning, run if they are to make up the ground on Manchester City.

A win in this one would be a good result for Chelsea considering their recent form at St. James’ Park and Mourinho will be drilling his players that anything but three points is unacceptable.

Chelsea can send out a signal of intent if they are to find a big win this weekend, but they cannot afford to be complacent as it is a fixture which throws out unlikely results.

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Team News

Newcastle have 12 injuries, the highest total in the Premier League. But Steve McClaren could see a number of his players available for selection again for this game. Sylvain Marveaux, Daryl Janmatt, Rolando Aarons, Jack Colback and Cheick Tiote could be in contention to feature. Papiss Cisse, Steven Taylor, Emmanuel Riviera, Paul Dummett and Massaido Haidara are all expect to miss out.

Chelsea are expected to be without just the three players, as Kenedy, Willian and Thibaut Courtios are unavailable. Diego Costa is banned following his actions last weekend against Arsenal so former Newcastle forward Loic Remy could start up top for the champions.

Key Points

Newcastle United’s last five in the Premier League: L/D/L/L/L

Chelsea’s last five in the Premier League: L/WL/L/W

Key Stat: Newcastle have won the last three meetings between the sides at St. James’ Park and have only lost one of the last five in this fixture at home.

Key Player: Eden Hazard – The Chelsea superstar needs to kick on from netting his first goal of the season last weekend against Arsenal and show why he is so highly regarded. He didn’t feature in Chelsea’s midweek win so he should be fresh.

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Score Prediction

Newcastle United 2-1 Chelsea – A prediction which may surprise many but given Chelsea’s form against Newcastle away from home it would not be unheard of. Newcastle often manage to kick-start their season with a positive result in this fixture, anything is possible.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Everton vs Chelsea

Competition: Premier League – Everton vs. Chelsea 

Venue: Goodison Park – Saturday, September 12 – 12:45 BST (07:45 ET)

Match Odds: Everton 3/1 – Draw 23/10 – Chelsea 19/20

Match Preview 

Premier League action returns this weekend after the international break with Everton hosting the struggling champions Chelsea.

Roberto Martinez’s side have made an inconsistent start to the season and will want to kick on to give them every chance of pushing for a Champions League spot. They will see this as a chance to take points from a well below-par Chelsea side.

Everton have some tricky fixtures coming up and will want to head into them full of confidence, a win in this one would be the perfect way to come back after the two week break.

This fixture ended 6-3 to Chelsea last season, with both sides having shocking defensive performances that afternoon. We can expect a far tighter tie this time around.

A key aspect of the tie will be how John Stones performs, he will be under the spotlight after the summer transfer saga with Chelsea and he has the opportunity here to show Everton fans why the club pushed so hard to ensure he stayed.

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This game is a must win for Chelsea and if they fail to do so, even this early on in the season, will have a major impact on their defence of the Premier League as it will give Manchester City the chance to go 11 points clear at the top.

Jose Mourinho’s side have had an awful start to the season and come into the game off the back of their 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace before the international break. Their upcoming fixtures will become even harder if they don’t take at least a point here.

Mourinho may reshuffle his side once again as many of his stars have struggled to get going in their opening four games.

Eden Hazard had another below-par performance for Belgium but did score late on in their game against Cyprus. He came under criticism and praise from his national coach, who said he would have been subbed were it not for his ability to come up with the goods late on. Chelsea desperately need their key man to step it up a gear and get them back on track.

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Team News  

Everton’s injury woes continue with seven players expected to miss out. Leighton Baines is out until November as he is recovering from an ankle injury. Tom Cleverley, Tony Hibbert, Darron Gibson and Steven Pienaar are sidelined, while Byran Oviedo and Brendan Galloway are doubts.

Chelsea are expected to be without Thibaut Courtois, who picked up a knee injury in training and Oscar remains a doubt. John Terry is available again after his suspension and Baba Rahman could deputise for Branislav Ivanovic who has had a poor start to the season. If Rahman does play we can expect Cesar Azpilicueta to be switched to right back to allow the Ghanian to make his debut in his natural position of left back.

Key Points 

Everton’s form: D/W/L/D

Chelsea’s form: D/L/W/L

Key Stat: Chelsea are unbeaten in 34 of their last 38 meetings against Everton in all competitions.

Key Player: Romelu Lukaku – The former Chelsea man will be looking to take advantage of their poor start to the season and will no doubt be a handful for whoever Jose Mourinho selects in defence. The Belgian international has started the season well, scoring two in four appearances and will hope he can score his first goal against Chelsea.

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Score Prediction

Everton 2-1 Chelsea – The champions problems to continue in a fixture which they never find easy.

Feature: Chelsea dominating transfer headlines but are they panic buying?

Chelsea‘s below-par start to the new Premier League season has resulted in transfer news and rumours flying around about a number of players.

The Blues have today signed FC Barcelona’s Pedro Rodriguez after Jose Mourinho swooped in and stole an almost done-deal from rivals Manchester United.

The 28-year-old winger made it clear he wanted to leave the Catalan giants this summer after a lack of playing time and although terms had initially been agreed between United and Barca, it is Chelsea who have landed the experienced Spanish winger.

With Eden Hazard, Willian and Juan Cuadrado all having featured already this campaign, you have to ask whether there is room for Pedro and whether one of these three will be on their way out of the club in the next two weeks.

Foot Mercato have reported that Willian has been offered to either Paris Saint Germain or Bayern Munich, which would be a surprise given he appears to be one of the first names on the team-sheet for Mourinho.

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The John Stones saga also continues. Chelsea have reportedly had a third bid of £30 million rejected for the 21-year-old Everton defender, with a fee of nearer £40 million rumoured to be required.

It remains to be seen whether Chelsea will make a final offer to tempt the Englishman away from the Toffees but Mourinho wants the player and he will do what he can to get his own way with a short time left to go in the transfer window.

With John Terry’s position in the side uncertain ahead of the weekend clash with West Brom this will be a story with more to come. Whether or not Chelsea need the youngster is another question, with Terry, Gary Cahill, Kurt Zouma and Branislav Ivanovic all options for Mourinho at centre-back.

Ivanovic could find himself out of the squad for this weekend’s upcoming game, with new signing Baba Rahman tipped to start at left-back, pushing Cesar Azpilicueta back to his more natural right-back slot.

The odds have been slashed for Paul Pogba to join Chelsea before the window closes. This could be a clever manoeuvre from the bookies, given Chelsea’s late movements in the window leading people to believe they are willing to pay big money for players that will help them defend their Premier League title.

Juventus are reportedly holding out for at least £70 million for their highly sought after talent and having already lost many star players this summer, a move away for Pogba looks unlikely.

With a whole host of attacking midfield options at Chelsea already, Pogba would no doubt have to dislodge another player from a starting position. With Oscar occupying the number ten role he could more than likely be the player axed if Pogba was to join, with Juve linked with the Brazilian throughout the window.

Talk of Cuadrado going to Juventus is also ongoing but the rumours are that he would be going on loan to the Old Lady and would not be included as part of a potential Pogba deal.

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It is going to be a very interesting and busy end to the transfer window for Chelsea if we are to believe the rumours and Mourinho’s side could be the ones to watch very closely as they look to make up for their worst start to a season since 1998 with some late transfer excitement.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs Chelsea

Competition: Premier League – Manchester City vs. Chelsea

Venue: Etihad Stadium – Sunday, August 16 – 16.00 BST (11.00 ET)

Match Odds: Manchester City 11/10 – Draw 12/5 – Chelsea 12/5

Match Preview

Manchester City vs Chelsea. It’s a crucial fixture as Sunday afternoon will see Manuel Pellegrini’s men host defending champions Chelsea in a match which pits two of the heavy favourites to win the Premier League against each other in the first major clash of the 2015-16 campaign.

The Manchester side come into this game off the back of a convincing and dominant display away at the Hawthorns against West Brom on Monday, winning 3-0. Not only was it just a convincing victory but Yaya Toure returned to form netting two goals and looking back to his best, with David Silva also instrumental.

Man City have scored eight goals in their last two home games in the Premier League, which shows how clinical they are in front of their home crowd and that will be a concern for Chelsea.

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City have also won their last seven Premier league games, with four of these victories coming at home.

Chelsea have only suffered one defeat in their last 19 Premier League games, which just shows you how resilient they are.

They have taken four points out of a possible 6 in their last two visits to the Etihad and will travel north looking to remain tight and avoid defeat.

Chelsea tend to adopt a different approach when it comes to the bigger games. Their negative approach tends to be scrutinised, however it has proved effective in recent years.

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A City win here would see them move five points clear of Chelsea at the top of the league after just two weeks, and that would be a huge advantage that Jose Mourinho will be desperate to avoid giving his title rivals.

Team News

Manchester City are without Fabian Delph and Fernando through injury. Yaya Toure is a minor doubt but is expected to start. Gael Clichy is also a doubt and Sergio Aguero has a lack of match fitness so will most likely will feature from the bench again.

Chelsea midfielder Oscar has a knock and is a doubt for Sunday’s trip. Thibaut Courtois is suspended after his red card against Swansea so Asmir Begovic will start in goal. Diego Costa will lead the attack with Willian and Eden Hazard set to continue out wide.

Key Points

Manchester City’s form: W

Chelsea’s form: D

Key Stat: Manchester City have failed to beat Chelsea in Premier League since February 2013.

Key Player: Eden Hazard – The current PFA Player of the Year is one of the best players in the world at the moment and if he can continue to produce the level of performances that he did last season it’s easy to see him causing Man City a massive problem come Sunday. His lightning quick pace and agility to match can hurt any side and don’t be surprised to see the young Belgian create several opportunities and perhaps even get on the scoresheet.

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Score Prediction

Manchester City 1-2 Chelsea – We can see this game being won in a very tight affair where Chelsea should show their defensive resilience and catch Man City on the counter, We can’t see either team keeping the other out and so both teams scoring is likely. Chelsea have the advantage of being champions and ill be favourites for a win.

2014/15 Premier League Season Review: Chelsea

Premier League Final Position: 1st 

Review

Chelsea landed their first Premier League title in five years and ended the campaign eight points clear of closest rivals Manchester City. A season of solid defensive displays and consistent performances throughout the campaign proved to be the difference and picking up the League Cup was an added bonus. Jose Mourinho set his side out to win the league from day one and nothing else would have been acceptable. He has once again got the foundation for Chelsea to dominate and proved that no matter how you get over the line you are still worthy winners.

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Podcast Review

Best Moment

Chelsea all but sealed the title away at Queens Park Rangers. A ground where they have struggled in recent years and a very difficult game for the club on and off the field. Cesc Fabregas‘ late winner showed grit and determination and belief that the side could pull off a win in an ugly game – something Mourinho is a master at.

Worst Moment

Newcastle away. Chelsea’s shocking performance and loss in this game, their first of the season, in a game they didn’t expect to lose. Although not an aim for Mourinho and Chelsea, it stopped their chances of an unbeaten season and showed weaknesses in the side.

Player of the Year

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Eden Hazard Chelsea’s key player without any doubt. He made the champions tick and single handedly won games, scoring 14 goals. Hazard’s ability to create and turn games makes him the player he is and one defenders do not like facing. Although there are arguments for a whole host of players like John Terry for his leadership and Willian’s relentless work-rate, Hazard is the ideal attacking player for any club.

Biggest Win 

Swansea 0-5 Chelsea (Jan 17, 2015)

Biggest Defeat

West Bromwich Albion 3-0 Chelsea (May 18, 2015)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

It is hard to improve on winning the title. Chelsea have to maintain their performance level and desire in order to retain their title. Mourinho will not give his players any opportunity to perform badly next season and his mentality to win should ensure Chelsea have a great chance of winning the league back-to-back. Mourinho needs to bring in another striker as cover for the injury-prone Diego Costa and departing Didier Drogba.

STATS: Who had the better Premier League season – Hazard or Sanchez?

Alexis Sanchez and Eden Hazard were two of the top performers in the Premier League this season and have left fans disputing who is the better player.

Hazard won the PFA Player of the Year, beating Sanchez to the award and it came as no surprise that the two were nominated.

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Sanchez was easily one of the best signings of the season and Arsenal fans will be hoping Wenger will continue to bring in top quality players.

The two are considered to be similar players, so how did they perform in key attacking areas over the course of the Premier League season? Having looked at their performances earlier in the season, the two are still just as hard to split now the season is over.

Stats via Squawka Apps Goals Assists Pass Accuracy Key Passes Shot Accuracy Successful Take-ons Duels Won
Hazard 38 14 9 87% 91 59% 180 65%
Sanchez 35 16 8 77% 71 62% 115 50%

Sanchez ends the season with a better goals-per-game ratio but Hazard impressively featured in all 38 games of Chelsea‘s campaign.

Hazard had more assists, better pass accuracy, more key passes and 65 more successful take-ons. The Belgian superstar bettered Sanchez in the majority of the key attacking areas.

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Chelsea’s key man was beaten on shot accuracy, which ultimately showed with Sanchez’s goal output. The two are incredibly hard to split but winning the Premier League certainly helps to sway the argument in favour of Hazard.

Sanchez can show his worth to Arsenal yet again this weekend as he prepares for his first chance of silverware at the club in the FA Cup final.

This is going to be key battle and talking point for years to come in the Premier League as both seem to be settled at their clubs.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Liverpool

Competition: Premier League – Chelsea vs. Liverpool

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Sunday, May 10th – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Chelsea 21/20 – Draw 5/2 – Liverpool 11/4

Match Preview

Premier League champions Chelsea welcome Liverpool to Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon with the visitors set to give the Blues a guard of honour after they secured the title last weekend.

Jose Mourinho‘s side clinched the Premier League crown when they beat Crystal Palace 1-0 last Sunday thanks to another goal from the PFA Players’ Player of the Year, Eden Hazard.

Chelsea have been subjected to criticism from some who have labelled them “boring” but the Blues will care little now that the title is on the sideboard alongside the League Cup in what has been a fantastic season.

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Mourinho could be tempted to field an experimental side with nothing on the line, although it’s unlikely he will make too many changes as they look to finish the season as strongly as possible. The fans creating a party atmosphere inside Stamford Bridge will still be expecting a good performance.

Liverpool arrive in London knowing they absolutely have to take all three points if they are to prolong any very faint hopes of finishing in the top four as they sit seven points behind Manchester United with only two games remaining after this one.

Brendan Rodgers will know that defeat for his team means they cannot finish in the Champions League places, while a draw will make it almost mathematically impossible given United’s superior goal difference, so they can throw caution to the wind and try to get at Chelsea.

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The Reds won their last game 2-1 at home to QPR but have recorded just two victories in their last six games (D1, L3) and have lost on all of their visits to the other three sides in the top four, so they need to break that trend here.

These two sides last met in the Capital One Cup semi-final which saw Chelsea prevail with a 2-1 aggregate win over the two legs. The reverse fixture in the Premier League at Anfield back in November 2014 ended with a 2-1 win for Chelsea.

Team News

Chelsea will be without the injured Oscar, while Diego Costa could return to action. Ramires is expected to miss out through illness.

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Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge will be out until September following a hip operation. Jon Flanagan and Mamadou Sakho are both out nursing injuries, while Mario Balotelli and Lucas Leiva could return to the side.

Key Points

Chelsea’s last five: W/W/D/W/W

Liverpool’s last five: L/W/D/L/W

Key Stat: Chelsea are unbeaten against Liverpool in their last five Premier League meetings (W3, D2).

Key Player: John Terry – Should the Chelsea skipper start the game, he will once again be vital at the heart of the defence, just as he has been all season. His performances have been one of the main reasons for their success.

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Score Prediction

Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool – Despite the pressure being off now that the Premier League title is already won, Mourinho won’t allow his side to let up and another efficient performance should see Chelsea just edge it.