Chelsea v Liverpool - Match preview and team news
After two games without victory in the Premier League, Chelsea will look to get back on track with a win over Liverpool at Stamford Bridge. The Reds travel to West London hoping to rid their Europa League hangover from Russia after a 1-0 defeat against Anzhi on Thursday night.
The Blues have been in great league form this season before Manchester United snatched a fortuitous victory at Stamford Bridge in their last home game. Chelsea have been a threat going forward with Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar supplying former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres with ammunition and will hope for similar tactics on Sunday. Roberto di Matteo welcomes back captain John Terry after his four game ban for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand has been completed.
Mata and David Luiz are fit after missing the 1-1 draw away at Swansea last Saturday, but England internationals Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard are still ruled out. Torres is expected to start up front against the side who introduced him to English football and sold him to Chelsea for £50m.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is attempting a major overhaul at Anfield and is using young talent blended with experienced heads to try and create a winning formula. The Reds are beginning to turn the corner with five games unbeaten and Luis Suarez is firing on all cylinders when it is much needed. When the Uruguayan plays well, Liverpool play well and that is shown by Suarez scoring in the last five games that Liverpool are unbeaten.
Suarez could have been ruled out for a lengthy period if Fabricio Coloccini’s vicious stamp had made contact last weekend against Newcastle, but there was no contact and he will lead the line at Stamford Bridge. Glen Johnson returns from a hamstring injury to face one of his former sides and Pepe Reina could return after suffering from a similar problem.
Di Matteo’s side have added pressure being the last Premier League game of the weekend, if other results go against them, and Liverpool have a great recent record against the Blues. The Reds have won their last four games against Chelsea and making that a fifth this weekend would represent their longest winning sequence in this game for 38 years.