Chelsea v Liverpool: Match Preview


Chelsea v Liverpool
Barclays Premier League
Stamford Bridge
Sunday, November 20th: 16:00

Team News

Liverpool forward Luis Suarez and defender Jamie Carragher are in contention to play despite respective back and calf injuries.

Didier Drogba has returned to training following an elbow operation and fresh from his England debut Daniel Sturridge has shaken off a knock.

Long-term absentee Michael Essien is out until the new year.

Villas-Boas has striker dilemma

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas is yet to decide whether to opt with Fernando Torres or Daniel Sturridge in attack when Liverpool visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

With Didier Drogba unlikely to be risked from the start, and Nicolas Anelka rarely called upon in games of this magnitude, Daniel Sturridge and Fernando Torres will compete for potential one spot up front for The Blues.

Torres has yet to recapture his spark following his sending off against Swansea City, while Sturridge earned his first international cap against Sweden in mid-week after netting five goals this season, but his lack of big match experience may rule him out of the Reds' visit.

"His [Sturridge's] performances for the club have taken him to his England first appearance which is something that is gratifying," Villas-Boas said.

"When somebody arrives to that level you must continue to be up to that level so that is the challenge that Daniel has to face. He has to face that challenge in the club and then eventually, if [Fabio] Capello decides, in England - but it was a good experience for him.

"Fernando Torres has picked up from last season not only with his form physically but his availability in terms of movement for the team.

"He is back to his old sharpness and back to goal scoring so we are pretty happy with him the way he is performing.

"So we just have to make a decision in terms of what we want in behaviour from our front line. Fernando will always be in contention for that."

Victory at Chelsea last season contributed to Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish being handed the reigns for the second time at Anfield, but without skipper Steven Gerrard, the task of achieving a second successive win in west London will be all the more difficult.

However, Dalglish says Gerrard is making excellent progress, but won't be drawn on when he expects the midfield talisman to return.

"Steven is progressing brilliantly," Dalglish said.

"There is nothing that's been a disappointment other than he's not been available for selection. He'll be available as and when he's over what he's got but everything's going really well. We couldn't ask for more or any greater news from him."

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