Liverpool vs Chelsea Preview, Team News, Likely Line-ups & Predicted Score
Liverpool entertain rivals Chelsea on Sunday afternoon as Rafa Benitez makes an emotional return to Anfield. Here is a preview with team news for the big game.
Liverpool entertain Chelsea on Sunday afternoon as Rafa Benitez makes an emotional return to Anfield hoping to boost his sides chances of securing a top-four place.
The Spaniard remains a firm favourite on Merseyside having lifted the Champions League trophy with the Reds during his six-years in charge and is sure to get a warm reception from the home crowd.
However, there will be no place for sentiment on Sunday with his Chelsea side in the midst of a three-way battle for Champions League qualification. Chelsea went into the weekends action sitting third following Wednesday nights comfortable 3-0 win over over west London neighbours Fulham but Arsenal have once again moved back above the Blues with a 1-0 win at Craven Cottage on Saturday. With Spurs also right in the mix, Chelsea know they need a positive result at Anfield to keep them on course for Champions League qualification this season.
Liverpool are scrapping to try and secure European football themselves but the Europa League is realistically the best they can hope to achieve after another inconsistent season. Brendan Rodgers men currently sit seven in the table but will be hoping a positive result this weekend will see them close the gap on sixth-placed Everton.
Liverpool have no fresh injury worries to contend with meaning Rodgers has the same squad to choose from as he did for last weeks frustrating 0-0 draw at Reading.
The only players missing are long-term absentees Martin Kelly, Joe Allen and Fabio Borini while Raheem Sterling is also likely to miss out once again as the club protect the youngster from burn-out.
Chelsea are sweating on the fitness of defensive duo Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill. Both returned to training on Friday and will face late fitness tests while midfielder Marko Marin is also back in contention but the best he can hope for is a place among the substitutes.
Captain John Terry returned to the starting eleven in midweek and scored a brace so will be hoping to retain his place this weekend, but Branislav Ivanovic is pushing for a recall.
Striker Fernando Torres may start against his former side in preference to Demba Ba. Oriol Romeu remains the Blues only serious injury concern.
Liverpool have a superb recent record against Chelsea winning four and losing none of the previous five league meetings, while the Blues have only won one of their last six visits to Anfield. But we can see this one ending in a stalemate. Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea
What would be your preferred starting eleven for the game and whats your score prediction? Get involved in the comments section below.
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