Very much in need of a lift, Liverpool’s schedule does not get any easier as they welcome leaders Chelsea to Anfield in the Premier League’s latest heavyweight clash.
Having made seven changes to his starting XI, the decision of manager Brendan Rodgers to rest several key members of his Liverpool side away to Real Madrid on Tuesday raised many eyebrows, with some accusing the Northern Irishman of accepting defeat before the game had begun.
As it was, those who did play by no means disgraced themselves, and they all put in a shift. Despite that, it was another game without victory and another game without a goal, and the goal threat which was clear to see throughout last season looks increasingly nonexistent without Daniel Sturridge.
This is another massive test, and the key to earning a positive result would be to stifle Eden Hazard, Oscar and Cesc Fabregas, who all have the potential to torment a fragile backline.
While only a draw away to Maribor was something of a surprise as Hazard missed a late penalty, it will not have been of too much concern for Chelsea with qualification from Group G appearing to be a formality.
Talk of going the entire Premier League season unbeaten again surfaced after the Blues just about overcame Queens Park Rangers to maintain their four point advantage over Southampton. There is still a very long way to go, but this appears to be one of the strongest and most well-drilled sides since the top-flight took its current guise in 1992.
Daniel Sturridge is unlikely to be risked by Liverpool, leaving Rodgers to decide whether to recall Mario Balotelli to the starting line-up. Jose Enrique and Mamadou Sakho face a race against time to be fit.
Chelsea could hand Andre Schurrle a start, but they will be without John Obi Mikel and Loic Remy due to injury.
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