High tempo key for Liverpool

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Liverpool winger Stewart Downing says his side must start like a house on fire if they want to shock Chelsea at Stamford Bridge again.

Raul Meireles, now of The Blues, netted the winner during last season’s encounter and travelling supporters will be hoping for a similar result.

Downing feels that Liverpool have performed better when they’ve begun quickly, and is demanding the same this time around.

"I think starting games well is the key. When we do start brightly, we tend to get into the lead and win games. But if you start sloppy, Chelsea can punish us.

"That is what the manager is drumming into us - to start well at a good pace, get into them and let them know they're in for a tough game.

" They're a top team, but I think there are areas there we can exploit. If we can be a bit more ruthless in our play, I think we can get goals at Stamford Bridge.

"It will be a tough game, but you can sense in the atmosphere around the place we're confident of going there and getting a result."

Chelsea have made uncharacteristic errors at the back this season, exposed when they conceded five at home to Arsenal at the end of last month.

England winger Downing is hoping The Reds can benefit from any uncertainty in their opponents’ back-line.

"I think they are a lot different to what they used to be," he added.

"They've got a lot of attacking, flair players which they didn't really have in the past. They've been a solid team with power and pace, but now I think they've changed a little bit.

"I think they're open to play against and if we can create chances against them, we'll get goals. Hopefully that will be the case on Sunday."

Stewart Downing
Premier League

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