Chelsea vs. Liverpool Preview

Barclays Premier League 20/11/11 (k.o 4pm)

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Published: 12/12/2011

Chelsea vs. Liverpool is one of the Premier League’s true heavyweight clashes and this latest tussle is set to be no different with both sides looking to bounce back following disappointing results prior to the international break.

A 3-5 home defeat to Arsenal has left Chelsea’s title hopes hanging well and truly in the balance whilst Liverpool find themselves a whopping twelve points off the pace after a stuttering home draw to newly promoted Swansea City.

Young pretender Andre Villas-Boas already seems to be feeling the heat in the Chelsea hot seat with sceptics already drawing comparisons between his techniques and those of former manager and ‘Special One’ Jose Mourinho.

Bouncing back against arch rivals Liverpool would be just the tonic for the Portuguese boss however he will have to out master veteran opposite number Kenny Dalglish if the Blues are to get back on track.

The West Londoners have undoubtedly been affected by the racist allegations made against captain John Terry who looked fairly shaken at the heart of a defence which was ripped to shreds by Robin Van Persie and co.

Whilst Liverpool are short of a true leader and game-changer in the absence of Steven Gerrard, the Reds do have the likes of Charlie Adam and Luis Suarez to call upon and they could cause real problems for Chelsea’s frail back-line should they click into gear.

However, a repeat of their lifeless, incoherent display against Swansea could see Liverpool struggle to cope with a Chelsea side who are still rich themselves in terms of attacking flair and ability.

Past seasons show that the Blues have largely had the upper hand when the two teams have met, with Liverpool’s last significant victory over Chelsea coming in the 2005 Champions League semi-final en route to their historic triumph in Istanbul.

On that occasion, then Kop boss Rafa Benitez finally found the formula to down Roman Abramovich’s club after a string of unsuccessful attempts and Dalglish may well have to wait just as long as his Spanish predecessor before landing a knockout blow.

A draw is no good to either side in this encounter as it would effectively put both clubs out of the title race, or at least leave them with a mammoth task to close the gap on both Manchester clubs.

If Chelsea can put their Arsenal nightmare behind them, they should be strong enough to outgun their opponents who will be relying on their slow, patient passing game to try and initiate a breakthrough.

An early goal could be crucial to the dynamic of the match and should it go against the visitors, it is easy to envisage Chelsea running away with matters.

It doesn’t seem quite right to see Chelsea sitting in fifth spot and a win against Liverpool would put the pressure back on the early pace setters.

Assuming they can handle the pressure themselves, a Chelsea win looks the most likely outcome when the Premier League gets back underway and Villas-Boas can restore some degree of faith with the home supporters leading in to the busy winter period.


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