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Nic Ladds 7th Apr 2009 - 16:09

Tactics will prevail at which Guus is the master

Chelsea and Liverpool meet each other for the fifth consecutive season in the Champions League and this time The Reds are warm 5/4 favourites with Chelsea at odds of 11/4.

This game does look extremely tight on the face of it and many will favour a draw at 15/8 in the betting, although Rafa Benitez has already masterminded victory over Chelsea twice this season.

An ominous fact for Chelsea is that The Blues have not won any of their last seven away Champions League games - a stat which Guus Hiddink needs to address.

Hiddink has not had a bad start to his Chelsea career with his only defeat so far coming away at the hands of Tottenham.

He will certainly be hoping to fair better than Phil Scolari did, as he lost both Premier League games against Liverpool, 1-0 and 2-0.

A similar score line is in the minds of many, as Liverpool are looking impressive at the moment and 1-0 victory is 11/2 with 2-0 at odds of 7/1.

Either would be fantastic for The Reds as an away goal for Chelsea could create problems for them in the away leg.

When these two met in the Champions League semi-finals last year, both legs ended 1-1 which is priced accordingly at 9/2, and for those who think it will be really tight then 0-0 is 5/1.

If you think Chelsea's match price may be a little big considering how closely matched these two are then a 1-0 Blues win at 13/2 also looks big with 2-0 at 12/1, which indicates that they are being, to an extent, written off.

If not written off, they have certainly been chalked up as outsiders when perhaps now under the guidance of Hiddink, who has the tactical nous to find a way round any side, and with new found confidence in players like Petr Cech and Michael Ballack, they can get a result.

So, in what looks to be a close match, where are the goals going to come from?

The first option to look at is unsurprisingly, Fernando Torres, who has already terrorised Chelsea this season, with both goals in the 2-0 win, and he can be backed at odds of 5/1 to open the scoring this time.

A fact worth noting is Liverpool have scored at least once in their last 18 Champions League games which is a mightily impressive record, and suggest a home goal could well be in the offing.

Liverpool's other star man, Steven Gerrard is two away from equalling Paul Scholes' English Champions League top scorer record, and in current mood you wouldn't bet against him doing it, and he can be backed at 6/1 for first goal or 7/4 to score anytime.

The Reds seem to be able to score from all over the pitch as if you look through their recent scorers, strikers, midfielders and defenders are all involved.

One such man is Andrea Dossena, who has scored two in his last four, both of which were the last goal of the game.

33/1 is the odds about Dossena scoring last or 12/1 for anytime. Dirk Kuyt at 11/4 anytime scorer and Ryan Babel, who seems to play a lot better in Europe than domestically is 10/3 to get on the score sheet.

Chelsea could welcome back Didier Drogba, and if he returns in the mood, The Blues have every chance and the Ivorian is 8/1 in the betting to score first, with Nicolas Anelka also 8/1.

Frank Lampard, so often the key man for Chelsea will be looked to for inspiration early on and he will have his supporters at 9/1 for first goal.

If the game is to be as close at it looks then under two match goals at 6/4 could be the call, with over 2 also at 6/4 or a double result of draw/Liverpool at 9/2 or draw/Chelsea 6/1 the bets if you fancy a tight first half.

Along this train of thought, the time of the first goal coming in the 71-80 minute at 22/1 and 81-90 minutes at 20/1, could reward at big prices.

Chelsea seem to be losing their chance of mounting a serious title challenge so know that this could be the best place to launch a decent attempt at some silverware.

Liverpool are very much in the title race and are generally so good in Europe, it is hard to oppose them.

Guus Hiddink though is tactically brilliant and if he gets them right tonight, he could endear himself to the Chelsea fans with a famous victory at Anfield, and a the prices, write the away side off at your peril.

Recommendation:
Steven Gerrard to score first - 6/1
1-1 - 9/2

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