PREVIEW: Chelsea v Liverpool - There's a game to be won.

(FULL CREDIT goes to Turtleproductionzx for the video!) How on earth could I write a preview of today's game without mentioning Fern...

(FULL CREDIT goes to Turtleproductionzx for the video!)

How on earth could I write a preview of today's game without mentioning Fernando Torres. Well I am going to try and write about the game first and foremost as there is still a game taking place at 4pm this afternoon. Eleven players facing eleven players with an expectant crowd filling three quarters of the Bridge and a hostile lot sitting in the away end who would love nothing more than nicking a win to rub a certain persons nose in it. Only a win will do for Chelsea after United and Arsenal slipped up yesterday.

In recent seasons I think it's fair to say that Chelsea v Liverpool has been a classic encounter. Full of action, goals, drama and emotion. Both sides have been considered to be in the elite of the Premier League and command an audience world wide. It's games like today that can make or break your season, a yardstick up against each other and a game where form simply goes out the window.

Chelsea come into the game in form that is getting better and better as each game passes. With three Premier League wins on the spin beating Blackburn at home, Bolton and Sunderland away, Chelsea are back amongst the goals and playing as Carlo calls it "our football".

Liverpool under "King Kenny" have turned their situation right round and credit where credit is due. They have an identical record winning their last three games on the spin and will come to Stamford Bridge full of confidence, which just like Chelsea, was something they have struggled with in recent months.

That's the thing with Liverpool coming to the Bridge, just like Arsenal and Manchester United, you know they aren't coming here to sit back and look to soak up pressure, give possession up to Chelsea and look to see what they can get from the game based on counter attacks or set pieces. They will come here and look to get a result so we always know what to expect.

You do have to wonder why Dalglish is getting performances out of the players that Hodgson couldn't?. Maybe it's the aura and stature of the Anfield legend that the players respond to. The fact is they have, and will look for the win today.

Dirk Kuyt who is one of the most underrated players in the League looks to be leading the line under Dalglish and it will remain to be seen if Suarez plays next to him or if Liverpool go with five across the middle with Gerrard tucked in behind Kuyt. I expect Jaime Carragher to return to the side and start next to Skrtel at the back. Meireles and Lucas will support Gerrard in midfield.

Liverpool are dangerous and can beat anyone on their day. There is an argument that when it has come to the big games this season they have gone missing. They will want to put that right today with an eye on making a statement to Torres.

Chelsea fans! Why not go and try the brand new Indian Restaurant in Fulham Broadway The MASALA ZONE before or after the game today.

For Carlo Ancelotti he has a real selection headache today. Obviously the two new arrivals have added to the squad but has also provided a healthy competition for places. This is something that I know Chelsea fans have spoken about this season. When we were at our lowest point of the season it seemed as though certain players knew the lack of squad depth wouldn't affect their position in the side and it became as if they were "untouchable". Not any more and this can only be good for Chelsea this season.

I think Carlo will really find it hard to make changes to the side that played so well on Tuesday night. Obviously we still conceded two sloppy goals and maybe just maybe David Luiz could be thrown in at the deep end. Carlo could stick him next to JT and shift Ivanovic out wide right but I am not so sure. If he did that, it would provide some solidity to our defence but I say I am not so sure based on the formation Carlo deployed at Sunderland.

I have to say without question, Nicolas Anelka starts the game today. Whether it's up top, wide right or in behind two forwards remains to be seen, but I would suggest that Carlo may stick with the 4-1-2-1-2 formation. The obvious change would be Torres coming into the side in place of Kalou next to Drogba. Of course we would go with that at the drop of a hat but I wonder if Carlo will want to start Torres or keep him on the bench and stick with the players we already had who have been playing well.

I think based on the 4-1-2-1-2 formation, Ashley Cole and Jose Bosingwa are expected to provide us with width in order for the formation to work which is why I think Jose will start, Ivanovic next to JT and Luiz on the bench.

Our midfield three behind Anelka will remain as Mikel, Essien and Lampard. Lampard was impressive for me on Tuesday night coming from the deeper withdrawn position behind Anelka and had numerous attempts on target at Sunderland. Without the ball we just need to work harder in midfield to press sides quicker and force them into errors. If Chelsea can be as effective without the ball as they are with it today then the game is half won.

If Torres starts up front with Drogba and Anelka in behind then he will be provided with numerous chances and will score goals. However, with the focus being on the Spaniard, I wonder if it will be some of Chelsea's "old guard" that could come up trumps for us today?. Who's to say that Didier Drogba won't be a massive influence or Lampard making his late runs?.

One thing is for sure, I really don't care who scores as long as Chelsea win. Petr Cech could take a goal kick that gets caught up in the strong wind today and fly into the net and I would be just as happy!. Chelsea need this win today more than ever for any hope to reel in United. This afternoon we must take the chance to capitalise and pounce on any slip ups they have.

Chelsea v Liverpool can be the game that dreams are made of. It's simply all or nothing. Come 6pm this evening I just wonder if Liverpool are going home with nothing!.

Chelsea to win by two. Drogba & Lampard (three if Torres starts!)


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