Branislav Ivanovic says Chelsea will need to be at their best to stop Liverpool striker Luis Suarez during the summit meeting at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
The Uruguayan, nominated for the Ballon d'Or, has earned rave reviews for his performances since his January transfer window move from Ajax.
The Serb is yet to face Suarez in the Barclays Premier League, and is wary of the threat posed by the lively forward.
"Luis Suarez is a good player, of course, but it's not just him, they have a number of good attacking options and we will need to be at our best to stop them," Ivanovic said.
"Liverpool are a very strong team; they have a good attack and play quick football, so we need to be ready.
"We are at home, and we need to make that advantage count in order to close the gap at the top."
Successive London derby defeats against Queens Park Rangers and Arsenal had gone to disrupt The Blues' impressive start to the season, and with nine points now separating them from leaders Manchester City, Ivanovic knows the team must cut the gap before their December meeting.
"The win at Blackburn was very important for us; it was a very good victory, and now we need to change the current situation," Ivanovic added.
'We need to close the gap, and we will do everything to win the game. It will be a very hard game but we will do our best."