Blues to take advantage of Reds misfortune

Liverpool face a defining four-day period over Christmas, with the clash at Chelsea on December 29th coming hot on the heels of a Boxing ...

Liverpool face a defining four-day period over Christmas, with the clash at Chelsea on December 29th coming hot on the heels of a Boxing Day trip to fortress Etihad Stadium.

Those two away fixtures mean the festive period could hardly be tougher for the Reds. Manchester City and Chelsea have the best squads and home records in the Premier League.

Brendan Rodgers' side have enjoyed a brilliant first half of the season but these games will indicate whether they have what it takes to last the pace in the title race.

Liverpool's hopes of coming through unscathed will not be helped by the absence of key pair Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge. Even more pressure now falls on to the shoulders of Luis Suarez.

The clash with a Manchester City outfit at the top of their game will sap plenty of Liverpool's energy, which gives Chelsea a big advantage given they entertain Swansea on Boxing Day.

The Blues face a difficult trip of their own just before Christmas, a match at leaders Arsenal. A win there would give Jose Mourinho's men a huge lift going into back-to-back home games.

The Portuguese boss is well aware his team have not been at their best of late and must improve for meetings with two title rivals.

Chelsea's main problem has been a lack of goals from their frontmen. Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o have scored just five league goals between them, a tally which is dwarfed by Suarez's 17 in only 11 games.

Liverpool will not come across the issues they will at the Etihad, where they will be faced with a host of attacking threats. However, Chelsea's midfield is packed full of quality and will be difficult to tame, particularly without Gerrard.

The Reds are a good bet to book a return to the Champions League – they are 4/6 with BetVictor to finish in the top four – but their title chances are set to take a blow over the festive period.

Chelsea should have too much for a Liverpool side shorn of important players and fresh from a gruelling date in Manchester.

Carefree & KTBFFH!

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