Chelsea v Liverpool – Sunday 19th November – Stamford Bridge (18:00)
This season see’s two of the English Premier League’s top sides hoping to get 3 points after some poor form from both in the last month. After going down 5-3 to Arsenal in their last match at Stamford Bridge three weeks ago, Chelsea will host a dangerous Liverpool team in an effort to defend their honour in front of their home crowd.
Chelsea and Andre Villas-Boas have had a torrid few weeks, with consecutive Premier League losses by QPR and Arsenal and a draw against Genk in the UEFA Champions League. On top of that is also the ongoing controversy surrounding Captain John Terry after allegations of racist language towards Anton Ferdinand. Frank Lampards 51st minute header was the only difference between the sides in Chelsea’s last match against Blackburn two weeks ago and the Blues will be hoping for a turn in form. Didier Drogba will return from injury and could be the inspiration Chelsea need in order to turn the tides. However Fernando Torres is likely to spearhead Chelsea’s attack as the Portuguese Coach has shown he favours the inconsistent ex-Liverpool striker who shows only glimpses of what he’s known for. Juan Mata has brought a spring to the step of ageing Chelsea squad and has proved the only creative spark in a stagnant midfield of Mikel, Lampard and Ramires. He has also been the player who has brought Torres closer to the form he is capable of at times and will be the key needed to unlock the Liverpool defence.
It was three home draws in succession for Liverpool after drawing 0-0 with Swansea City in their last match. However the Reds are now unbeaten in their last 6 matches and that is accredited to their solid defensive record, which is the joint second best in the league with Manchester City behind Newcastle United. The highly experienced Jamie Carragher will return after missing Liverpool’s last two matches but the Reds will still be without instrumental Captain Steven Gerrard who is out with an ankle problem. Charlie Adam and Lucas Leiva will look to stamp their authority in the midfield while Luis Suarez, who is fresh off an amazing feat of scoring all 4 goals in Uruguay’s 4-0 demolition of Chile in the South American World Cup Qualifiers, will be looked upon for making Liverpool tick going forward. Suarez has only netted 4 goals for Liverpool but has been their most impressive player so far this season and the fans will want more goals from their key man.
Chelsea might not be at their best but it takes a special performance like Arsenal’s to out-do them at Stamford Bridge. They have a good defence and Liverpool will find chances hard to come by. It should be an even contest and the draw is tipped.