Top-four hopefuls Liverpool travel to Stamford Bridge this weekend knowing that a victory over Andre Villas-Boas’ Chelsea side would see the Merseysiders go level on points with their rivals. Spanish striker Fernando Torres, who swapped Anfield for the Bridge in an astonishing £50m deal back in January, was the centre of attention when these two sides met last season, and the ex-Atletico Madrid forward has been making the headlines once again ahead of this crunch clash.
But the Uruguayan hot-shot, who found the net four times in the recent international qualifier against Chile, is currently facing problems of his own. Suarez was charged by the Football Association on Thursday following allegations that he racially abused Manchester United’s Patrice Evra in a fixture earlier this season. A club statement read: “We will discuss the matter fully with him when he returns from international duty, but he will plead not guilty to the charge and we expect him to request a personal hearing. Luis remains determined to clear his name of the allegation made against him by Patrice Evra. The Club remain fully supportive of Luis in this matter.”
Manager Kenny Dalglish will be hoping that Suarez continues to focus on his football as he attempts to clear his name. The former Ajax striker may be Liverpool’s top-scorer this season, but he has been guilty of wastefulness in front of goal in some games this term and the Reds – who are currently on an eight-match unbeaten run – will need him to be at his best at the Bridge.
A quick glance at the Premier League table shows that Chelsea have scored more goals at home than the Reds have managed both home and away in the top-flight all season, but Dalglish has high hopes for his team when it comes to being more lethal. The Scot said: “It’s difficult when the ball is not going in the back of the net for you, but they’re certainly making enough chances to do that (score goals). Eventually they’ll do it and somebody is going to get battered one day – the sooner the better for us. But even after they turn their chances into goals, it still doesn’t mean the season is finished – we’ve just got to keep going.”
Liverpool will just have to make sure it is Suarez and not former hero Torres who is making the headlines for all the right reasons come Monday morning.
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