Chelsea return to Stamford Bridge for the first time since their 5-3 defeat to Arsenal, when they welcome Liverpool on Sunday (kick-off: 16:00 UK). The two sides lie just three points apart in the league table, with Liverpool two places behind the West Londoners.
Chelsea manager Andres Villas-Boas has faced some pressure in recent times, in particular after that home defeat to Arsenal, and things will not get any easier in the coming weeks with Manchester City, Newcastle and Tottenham in the Premiership, Liverpool in the Carling Cup and Bayer Leverkusen and Valencia in Champions League. With such a tricky period ahead, a home win against Liverpool is essential to give the Blues some momentum.
Villas-Boas will be hoping for an inspired performance from former Reds favorite Fernando Torres, who is sure to be the subject to some criticism from the away supporters after leaving Anfield back in January. That said, Sunday will give him the perfect chance to silence his critics and prove himself once and for all on the big stage.
Torres will need to be at his best because the Reds have been quite resolute in defence this season, conceding just 10 goals in 11 Premier League fixtures, with goalkeeper Pepe Reina keeping four clean sheets this season. Jamie Carragher could make his return for Liverpool this Sunday, but in all fairness the centre-back partnership of Agger and Skrtel seems to be doing just fine without him.
The Reds will miss influential playmaker Steven Gerrard through injury but will hope that Luis Suarez can show the same form he showed when on international duty recently, with the Uruguayan scoring all four goals in a sensational game against Chile. It should be a fantastic match, and as ever, we’ll be hoping for a Livrpool win!
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Liverpool are well out at 4.75 for a win (Paddy Power). Whilst Chelsea lost at home to Arsenal, we’re not sure it’s the wisest bet – not least because we think a draw is probably the obvious result. You ould back a draw at 3.5, or chance a 1-1 score bet at 6.5 (both at Ladbrokes).
We don’t like to say it, but this match is built for Fernando to score in. We think at 2.5 (Bet Clic) to score anytime he is probably good value – and if he does score then it will offer us all some kind of consolation :( . Come on Liverpool!
As ever, let us know your hot tips too! :)