PREVIEW: Liverpool v Chelsea: Its showtime!

In a few hours from now the world will be watching as Chelsea travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool.

Sports News - February 09, 2009

In a few hours from now the world will be watching as Chelsea travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool.

This afternoon is another one of the "Cup Finals" for Chelsea. After a superb performance against Stoke last week and a full week to prepare for today, we come into the game on a high and looking to maintain our lead in the Premier League.

A win is a must for Chelsea today knowing that United play after us. If Chelsea win the pressure is back on United to get a result at Sunderland. Its my opinion that we have to win today and nothing else will do.

The managers have had their say, there has been plenty of build up to the game and the vultures seem to be circling over the head of Rafa Benitez. One thing is for sure when Chelsea play Liverpool, its never dull and I fully expect today to be the same.

Liverpool are on a low. Out of the Champions League in the group stages. Out of the Europa league this week. Their Premier League season has been a disaster and Torres is out for the season. They go into todays game fighting for their pride in front of their own fans but the after effects of Thursday Europa League exit after extra time will no doubt have an effect on the side today.

I expect Liverpool to come out all guns blazing for 30 mins of the first half but really do believe their legs will play a part after that and it will be Chelsea's fresh legs and momentum that will be key to the game today.

These games are normally tight affairs. With the likes of John Terry and Jaime Carragher fighting with everything they have to keep a clean sheet it normally is tight. Today its my opinion it will be a lot different.

I can only see a Chelsea win today. Its not because i am biased. Its because of fact coming into the game. Chelsea have JT back from suspension, Mikel is available after injury and Ashley Cole has last weeks run out behind him and will look to kick on today.

Chelsea are strong, have a strong squad and have amazing squad depth. Lets have a look at last weeks game. Our back four was Ferreira, Ivanovic, Alex and Cole. JT, Carvalho, Zhirkov and Bosingwa were missing. JT will come back into the side today and I expect Ferreria to make way for Ivanovic which is tough on Ferreira as I do like him.

Our midfield is strong too. Last week the three who played were Ballack, Malouda and Lampard. Mikel, Deco and Essien were missing. I expect Mikel to come back into the side in the holding role. Malouda will push out wide and Ballack will play next to Lampard to bolster the side.

Up front last week was Anelka, Drogba and Kalou. Joe Cole and Sturridge on the bench. I expect Anelka to make way today and Kalou, which is tough on the both of them after last week, for Drogba through the middle with Malouda and Joe Cole out wide.

This is the difference between the two sides. Liverpool have no squad depth and Liverpool fans you have to admit you do have 5 or 6 mainstays in the side but thats it. Once they are missing you have players coming into the side who just don't cut it.

Chelsea are flying. Playing well, looking confident and most importantly of all scoring goals from ALL areas of the pitch. With 93 goals already in the league this season I can only see us adding to that figure today.

Liverpool are a threat if Gerrard has time and space to dictate the play but like the other night when the opposition has alot of the ball and the play, he disappears. I expect the same today. So its important that we have the possession today, we dominate the play and keep the ball moving as the Liverpool players will tire.

Drogba and Lampard can have massive games today. They need to be at their best today and knowing we are two games away from the title is all the motivation they both need today, but there is one other player who is key for Chelsea and has grown into just as an opposing threat to sides as those two and thats Malouda.

If Malouda gets time and space he can and will hurt Liverpool.

I predict Chelsea to win by two or three today and the goals will come in the second half as Liverpool tire. After the result at Anfield today lets have a watch of the events at Sunderland. The pressure would be back on United and you never know, all the talk has been about Chelsea slipping up, but wouldn't it be nice if Sunderland done us a favour to make it a night we will never forget!


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