Mane-less counterpress v Matic & Kante
Tuesday, 20:00, Live on BT Sport 1
It is no secret that Sadio Mane's absence has weakened Liverpool's attacking threat, and the Senegalese is unlikely to be ready for Tuesday's game despite returning from Gabon at the weekend. Without the chaotic directness of his movement, Jurgen Klopp's team struggle to pull defences apart and have become stale in the final third - while Adam Lallana has been pushed higher up the pitch, leaving a fairly static and uncreative central midfield trio. Since Chelsea rarely press and happily sit deep, Liverpool are unlikely to fashion many chances at Anfield.
However, Chelsea are vulnerable to the counter-press, particularly when it is focused through the middle, and it is here that Liverpool can do damage. Against Tottenham Hotspur, Nemanja Matic and N'Golo Kante were occasionally overwhelmed when the home side won the ball back within the Chelsea half. This is largely because Victor Moses and Marcus Alonso are quick to pour forward, leaving the wings exposed and the two defensive lines disoriented if things suddenly break down.
Liverpool can, theoretically, follow suit. Without Mane they lack the central drive that Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli displayed at White Hart Lane, but Philippe Coutinho could still thrive in the pockets between Kante and David Luiz. If they swarm Matic and Kante successfully, Klopp's trademark tactics could come out on top.
Back Liverpool to score two or more goals at 5/4
Mourinho's static attack v Hull's back three
Marco Silva has worked wonders in his short time at Hull City, notably improving their defensive resolve with a tightly compact three-man back line. Harry Maguire is undoubtedly the most transformed individual under the new regime; he has made 10 tackles and 12 interceptions across the first two league games of the Silva era. Hull's collective stubbornness should make Man Utd look lifeless, largely because Mourinho does not field attackers that like to make runs in behind.
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial increasingly find themselves on the bench at Old Trafford, with Mourinho preferring industrious inside forwards to support Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The problem with this is that opponents, fearful of a newly revived United, are dropping deep - which leaves the likes of Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan playing everything in front of two lines of defence.
United have scored six goals in their last four league games, while Ibrahimovic has scored 42% of their goals throughout the campaign. Hull should be able to prevent United's floating playmakers from finding space, while playing three at the back should be enough to stifle Ibrahimovic. It could be another long and frustrating afternoon for Mourinho's team.
Back under 2.5 goals at 6/4
Clement's narrow shape v Redmond & Tadic
Before Southampton's reserves were beaten 5-0 by Arsenal at the weekend Claude Puel's side had only conceded one goal in their previous five matches; Swansea will struggle to score against their opponents on Tuesday night. A low-scoring match is likely, then, unless Nathan Redmond and Dusan Tadic are capable of stretching the pitch with more consistency than usual.
The main reason behind Saints' poor goalscoring record (they have netted more than once in just three league games since mid-October) is that Puel's attacking lines are too narrow. Redmond and Tadic both consistently drift infield, but without an eye-of-the-needle creative midfielder to make use of their runs it is easily counteracted. Paul Clement will be confident of a clean sheet.
Swansea's highly organised defensive shape at Anfield was remarkable. Two solid weeks of painstaking tactical coaching on the training field immediately paid off, as the Bradley-era zig-zag back line and chaotic half-pressing disappeared. Assuming they play in a similarly disciplined and narrow 4-5-1, Redmond and Tadic will need to drift into the channels to create space. How intelligently Saints' playmakers adapt to the game in-front of them will surely define this contest.
Back the draw at 23/11
Hughes' surprisingly flimsy midfield v rejuvenated Barkley
Ross Barkley has undergone a dramatic upturn in form since Ronald Koeman switched to a 3-5-2 and added the classy Tom Davies to central midfield. Without so much pressure on Barkley to do the dirty work or sew things together in deep areas, he is flourishing; Barkley has averaged five dribbles per match across his last two games. He should make the difference against Stoke's weak central midfield.
The home side's recent results mask a persisting problem through the middle. Sunderland and Watford were beaten because they rarely attack through the centre, while Manchester United should have won comfortably last weekend after creating 22 chances at the Britannia. Despite taking seven points from these games, their defensive midfield pair made a grand total of six tackles.
Everton's new midfield shape comfortably dominated Manchester City's awkward duo of Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta (Toure was twice at fault as Davies walked through the middle), and a repeat of this pattern is likely on Wednesday. Glenn Whelan and Joe Allen will need to show a considerable improvement if they are to stop Barkley from running riot.
Back Everton to win at 17/10