Chelsea v Liverpool: The surprising stats about Friday Night Football

The trends hint at Cesar Azpilicueta being more of a protagonist than Diego Costa or Eden Hazard as Chelsea host Liverpool
The trends hint at Cesar Azpilicueta being more of a protagonist than Diego Costa or Eden Hazard as Chelsea host Liverpool
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Judging by recent results, Friday nights are more of a goal deterrent than an invitation for strikers to party...


"The patterns of the campaign so far, but they do imply that there is value in selections such as opposing both teams to score at 2.56/4, backing under 2.5 goals at 2.245/4 and investing in the Chelsea victory to nil at weighty odds of 4.84/1.

Expectations are high for Chelsea and Liverpool's Friday night debut and you can understand why, with the sides netting nine goals apiece in their opening four Premier League games, a tally only bettered by leaders Manchester City, and keeping a single clean sheet between them.

The odds reflect the belief that the combination of these two attacks, these two defences - Antonio Conte has confirmed that David Luiz will make his second Blues debut in John Terry's absence just to add to the fun - and the Friday night framework will blend together to concoct a thriller. Over 2.5 goals is a 1.794/5 prospect, with both teams to score rated even more likely at 1.654/6.

The subject of Friday Night Football has been debated endlessly, from whether it is fair on attending fans to whether there is even much appetite among the Sky Sports-subscribing public to consume Premier League action at the start of the weekend to the selection of Rachel Riley as a presenter.

What hasn't been assessed quite so thoroughly is whether the spectacle produced in that timeslot makes it worth adjusting your plans for. The broad assumption seems to be yes, but the statistics aren't as supportive.

Two Premier League matches have been aired on a Friday evening since the start of last season: Manchester United's trip to Aston Villa last August and their Old Trafford clash with Southampton this August. The favourites won without conceding on both occasions - 1-0 the first time and 2-0 the second.

Take a look at the Championship's Friday fixtures to date this term and similar trends emerge, with the results reading Fulham 1-0 Newcastle, Brighton 3-0 Nottingham Forest, Burton 1-0 Derby and Reading 2-1 Ipswich.

Four home wins, each achieved to nil, and three of them with the hosts firing twice or less. The latter contest might appear more enthralling than the others at first glance, yet every goal in that skirmish was a penalty and the one that sent it over the 2.5-goal threshold didn't arrive until the 90th minute.

What about other countries? Ligue 1 has staged five Friday night encounters in 2016/17, four delivering two goals or fewer and three churning out at least one shutout. Both Bundesliga games in that environment were won to nil by Bayern Munich and three of La Liga's five paid out on unders.

Perhaps the form of Diego Costa and Sadio Mane will triumph over the patterns of the campaign so far, but they do imply that there is value in selections such as opposing both teams to score at 2.56/4, backing under 2.5 goals at 2.245/4 and investing in the Chelsea victory to nil at weighty odds of 4.84/1.

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