Can Chelsea return to Anfield and take three points?
Chelsea’s fantastic start to the season will come under the spotlight once again as they travel to Anfield to face a Liverpool team who h...
Chelsea’s fantastic start to the season will come under the spotlight once again as they travel to Anfield to face a Liverpool team who have yet to recover from letting the Premier League title slip in May. The Blues’ 2-0 victory will remain infamous for the Steven Gerrard slip which let in Demba Ba for the opening goal, but the result served a body blow to Liverpool’s chances at the top. Revenge will undoubtedly be in the air on Saturday lunch time, but Jose Mourinho will expect his players to be fully focused on the task in hand – securing yet another three points. Punters may have picked up tips from the Manchester United game last weekend, but the upcoming game against Liverpool promises to be another big game for Chelsea.
Robin Van Persie’s dramatic 93rd minute equaliser denied Chelsea the chance of maintaining their six point lead at the Premier League summit, but it should only be considered as a minor blip in what has been a superb start to the campaign. Mourinho has more than delivered on his promise that the Blues will be a much stronger force in his second season in charge, with Chelsea looking almost unstoppable. They will go into the game against Liverpool with Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard in imperious form, while Diego Costa has already proved what a considerable threat he is. All three could play a major role for Chelsea who will undoubtedly target Liverpool’s defensive problems and hurt them where it matters most – putting the ball in the back of the net, which Chelsea have managed 26 times already in 10 league games. Mourinho may also be able to call on John Obi Mikel who is set to return from a knee injury, but Loic Remy will be out until after the international break as Chelsea’s only noticeable absentee.
Liverpool were considered one of the main contenders for the 2014/2015 Premier League title after coming so close last season in what was a superb campaign, but they have looked a shadow of their former selves. The loss of Luis Suarez to Barcelona, combined with ineffective signings and serious defensive problems, have prevented Brendan Rodgers’ side from developing any kind of form in the opening ten games. They already sit 12 points behind Chelsea in the table, but Blues fans should not be fooled into thinking it will be an easy three points at Anfield. Liverpool rested several key players, including Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling, in their 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League to prepare themselves for a difficult clash against the league leaders. They could also be boosted by the return to fitness of Daniel Sturridge who has developed into a key player for Rodgers, particularly as Mario Balotelli continues to struggle since his return to the Premier League.