Chelsea v Liverpool
Stamford Bridge, London
Sunday 11 November 2012
Chelsea will be looking for three points which will send them back to the top of the Premier League as they welcome Liverpool to Stamford Bridge. Liverpool are searching for only their second away win of the season as they close in on the top half of the table.
Chelsea have been superb at home so far this season with Manchester United the only team to take points away from West London. Chelsea have played five games and they have won four matches to go with that defeat. Defensively they have been a little vulnerable as they have conceded six goals but they have drowned that out with 13 goals meaning an average of over two goals per home game.
If they win and Manchester United draw or lose their match then Chelsea will go back to the top of the table.
Injuries and Suspensions
Expect Chelsea captain John Terry to return to the side after serving a four game ban for being found guilty of racial abuse. Frank Lampard will miss the game after picking up a calf problem in the Champions League away match at Shakhtar Donetsk.
Left full back Ashley Cole may also struggle to get fit for the game as he was left out of the mid-week Champions League match with a hamstring injury. Chelsea have no suspended players and an otherwise fully fit squad.
Liverpool have been extremely inconsistent both home and away this season which is something Brendan Rodgers has targeted to sort out quickly. Liverpool have only won one away match this season but they have also only lost one match and draw their other two games.
For a side with only one recognised striker they have scored eight goals but the defence has been problematic and conceding the same number meaning a goal difference of zero. A win takes Liverpool to 14 points, the same total as Newcastle currently in tenth place.
Injuries and suspensions
Liverpool are missing defender Martin Kelly who is out indefinitely with knee ligament damage, midfielder Lucas who suffered a thigh injury at the start of the season and striker Fabio Borini who broke his foot while away with the Italian Under-21 squad, Borini will not return until the New Year.
John Flanagan could be in line for a place on the subs bench as the defender recently returned to training and Glen Johnson could start the game after returning to training this week following a muscle spasm injury he picked up during the Merseyside derby. Liverpool have no suspended players for this match.
Chelsea v Liverpool Stats
Chelsea have a brilliant record so far this season with only one defeat, to Manchester United, and two draws, they have won all of their other games. They have scored a combined total of 22 goals which makes them the second highest scorers in the league behind United.
Liverpool have won only two games this season with five draws and three defeats. They have conceded eight goals away from home which is double the tally of Chelsea.
Head 2 Head: Chelsea and Liverpool have played in London a total of 80 times with Chelsea winning 43 matches, Liverpool winning 20 matches and 17 draws. Liverpool have the edge in terms of recent matches as they won 4-1 at Anfield the last time the teams met, 2-0 in the League Cup at Stamford Bridge and 2-1 in the Premier League, both matches were played last November.
Recent Form: Chelsea go into this game after a 3-2 win at home against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League. They have drawn their only league match this month 1-1 away at Swansea City. They lost back-to-back games in October away at Shakhtar and at home against Manchester United, winning all of their other games.
Liverpool have also drawn their only league match this month which was a 1-1 result at home against Newcastle United. Liverpool are in good form and they lost only one match last month which was the Europa League tie at home against Udinese.
Chelsea v Liverpool Prediction
Liverpool have the edge in terms of recent meetings between the sides but injuries to defenders and their league form so far this season suggests that Chelsea should get a win.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool.