It's third versus fourth as Chelsea host Liverpool at Stamford Bridge as the last round of fixtures for the 2013 calender year gets underway this weekend.
Liverpool have surprised many by maintaining their form after a great start to the season. And are now genuine title contenders, after mauling Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 at White Hart Lane and played well against a Manchester City side who are rampant at home.
Had decisions and opportunities gone their way, Liverpool would've still been top of the tree after Boxing Day. And Liverpool were also the last side not to win the league title after being top on December 25, which will give Brendan Rodgers' men extra motivation to go all the way this season.
Chelsea on the other hand were one of the red hot favourites to be crowned champions come the end of the season. With Jose Mourinho back at the helm of Chelsea and with a wealth of attacking options at his disposable and money to spend, it is no doubt people made Chelsea one of the favourites to win the title.
But Mourinho's men have not fired at all cylinders this season and have grinded out results against teams, rather than blowing them away in style, but they are only two points off the top and are in a good position to launch a title assault in the new year if they can find their killer instinct.
But with Liverpool in good form, and Chelsea looking to keep Mourinho's unbeaten home record intact and the biting incident still fresh in all the Chelsea and Liverpool fans' memories, we can expect sparks to fly this Sunday at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea's Jose Mourinho has been rotating his squad during the busy festive season fixtures. A return for Cesar Azpilicueta in place of Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill for David Luiz while Fernando Torres could replace Samuel Eto can all be on the cards.
Ramires misses the clash after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season and will serve a one-match ban, which allows Frank Lampard to return to midfield.
Michael Essien, John Obi Mikel and Frank Lampard could make up the midfield trio, while Andre Schurrle could replace Juan Mata. Marco van Ginkel remains the only long-term injury casualty.
Liverpool have a host of injury problems as their small squad is being stretched this season. Injuries to John Flanagan (thigh), Steven Gerrard (hamstring), Daniel Sturridge (ankle), Sebastian Coates and Jose Enrique (both Knee) while Victor Moses misses the clash because he is ineligible to play against his parent club.
With Liverpool's options limited, expect the Rodgers to name the same starting XI who started against Manchester City.
Possible starting Line:
Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Mikel, Lampard, Schurrle, Oscar, Hazard, Torres.
Liverpool: ( 4-1-2-3)
Mignolet, Johnson, Skrtel, Sakho, Cissokho, Lucas, Allen, Henderson, Sterling, Coutinho, Suarez.
Hazard (Chelsea), Suarez (Liverpool).
Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool
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