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Chelsea vs Liverpool: Match preview

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As is the case over the Christmas and New Year period the big games just keep on coming and after the week we've had so far this game is set up to be another top notch encounter.

Chelsea remain unbeaten at Stamford Bridge under Jose Mourinho in the Premier League and yet Liverpool were the first team to claim three points at the North London ground in the first post-Mourinho era.

Heading into this game Liverpool could be seen as many people's favourites after another brilliant performance at the Etihad against Manchester City on Boxing Day saw Brendan Rodgers' men unlucky to leave empty handed.

While it's great to see Mourinho back in England he has been a much different character to the 'Special One' that gained so much of the spotlight during his first spell at the club.

Indeed the 0-0 draw against Arsenal at the Emirates on Monday epitomised what this new Mourinho is all about, gaining a result no matter how they do it.

Following the game in the wind and pouring rain at Arsenal, Chelsea's players walked off the pitch to jeers and the crowd shouting 'boring' but Mourinho couldn't care less as he claimed an important point.

Against Swansea again Chelsea did what was required to take the most from the game as they squeezed a 1-0 win against one of the sides the leading contenders will consider a potential tripping point during the season.

It's safe to say there was never a quiet game when Mourinho's Chelsea and Liverpool locked horns, of course much of the needle between the sides stemmed back to two Champions League semi final defeats the Blues suffered most controversially back in 2005 and in 2007, of course the first year Liverpool would win that trophy in an epic final in Istanbul.

But this time there is no Rafael Benitez for Liverpool though the Reds are certainly back where the Spaniard put the Anfield team back in the 2008/09 season when they led the Premier League table at Christmas.

In fact the relationship between Mourinho and Rodgers will likely be much different as the pair worked together at Chelsea when the Northern Irishman was youth and reserve team coach.

Despite Liverpool's loss to Manchester City, which saw them drop down to fourth, the team headed by stand-in captain Luis Suarez will provide another huge test of Mourinho's brains and could see his unbeaten streak at Stamford Bridge under greater jeopardy than ever.

A major factor in this game could be tiredness, thanks to all of Chelsea's resources Mourinho has a much bigger squad at his disposal and Liverpool continue to struggle with injuries to several key players.

Daniel Sturridge, Steven Gerrard and Jon Flanagan remain sidelined while Victor Moses is ineligible to play against his parent club.

That will again put all the pressure on Suarez along with Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling to provide the flair going forward while Aly Cissokho will likely retain his place after a good display on Thursday.

As for Chelsea, Ramires is suspended after picking up a fifth yellow card against Swansea, while former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres could make his 150th appearance for the Blues, while captain John Terry marks a bigger milestone with Sunday's game the 600th time he will play in a Chelsea shirt.

There will be plenty of eyes on the first meeting between Suarez and Branislav Ivanovic as this will be the first time the pair will be on the same pitch since the Uruguayan bit the defender the last time these two met at Anfield, Suarez would later receive a ten-match ban for the incident.

Now though the 26-year-old is showing much more maturity and an even bigger threat which against the somewhat older John Terry is an area for Liverpool to attack.

Chelsea too are struggling to score goals this season though I suspect there will not be a repeat of the defensive stalemate that occurred at the Emirates, this is a game they will need to win if they are to challenge for the title and that more attacking approach could leave them more vulnerable to Liverpool's potent attack.

My prediction: Chelsea 1 - 2 Liverpool

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Topics:
Liverpool
Premier League
Chelsea
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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