Paul Higham says Sadio Mane can get a couple of efforts in on goal as Liverpool host Chelsea in Saturday night’s big game…
It’s the biggest game of this embryonic Premier League season as Chelsea test their title credentials with a trip to Anfield to face Liverpool on Saturday night.
Chelsea are the 11/4 second favourites behind Man City for the title now after bringing in £100m Romelu Lukaku to strengthen a team that had already won the Champions League.
It’s a dream scenario for Thomas Tuchel who took over a side that had already been bolstered by over £200m worth of talent that Frank Lampard had struggled to fit into a cohesive unit.
So the focus is more on the Blues’ title ambitions than Liverpool’s, but it’s hugely dangerous to overlook the Reds and 4/1 on them regaining the title they won at a canter two seasons ago may look a big price come Sunday morning.
Liverpool are just about favourites to win with the Anfield crowd behind them, but this Chelsea side do look ominous and Virgil van Dijk will have to prove he’s fully recovered from that serious knee injury if he is to shackle Lukaku.
Mohamed Salah is also in the overlooked category and he could well have a big say in this game, but we’re focusing on one of his partners in crime on the opposite flank for our best stats bet of the day.
Sadio Mane looks a lot sharper than he did last season, and after wasting a few chances at Norwich he scored against Burnley and was a constant threat throughout.
He should have scored a couple more but his link-up play was superb, and coming in off that left wing he was constantly getting on the end of some wonderful balls from Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The Liverpool right back provided a gorgeous dinked assist for Mane’s goal and in total set him up for three goal-scoring opportunities. Alexander-Arnold set up seven chances for his team-mates in total.
Mane had seven shots in total against Burnley with four on target and although Chelsea haven’t conceded yet that right hand side of their defence has been where their opposition has got the most of their limited joy.
It’s not a huge sample size admittedly but Jeffrey Schlupp and Wilfried Zaha got efforts in on goal down that left flank for Crystal Palace, while Arsenal’s only joy came via Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both coming down the left.
That and Mane’s growing role against Burnley mean that the OddsBoost on offer for this game for him to have 2+ shots on target at 4/1 on the Sportsbook is a price well worth taking.