Chelsea – Liverpool Preview: Rodgers’ men aiming to maintain title pace at Stamford Bridge

Liverpool visit fellow title contenders Chelsea on Sunday and will take confidence from an impressive recent record at Stamford Bridge.

The Merseyside outfit have lost just once in their last six Premier League visits, winning on three of those occasions.

But Jose Mourinho has never suffered a league defeat on home turf as Chelsea manager, underlining the size of the task facing the away side.
Brendan Rodgers’ charges head into the fixture on the back of a 2-1 defeat at Manchester City.

Raheem Sterling had a goal ruled out despite seemingly being in an onside position, but Liverpool took the lead through Philippe Coutinho, only for Vincent Kompany and Alvaro Negredo to put City ahead before half time.

Liverpool dominated large parts of the second half but were unable to find a breakthrough, and Rodgers was further irked by the referee’s failure to give a penalty against Joleon Lescott following what appeared to be a foul on Luis Suarez.

This weekend’s fixture marks the first time the two sides have met since the incident involving Suarez, who received a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

The scores finished 2-2 on that occasion at Anfield in April, with Suarez scoring a last-minute equaliser, and the Uruguayan – who tops this season’s scoring charts with 19 goals – is sure to be met by a hostile Stamford Bridge crowd.

Liverpool make the trip with several of their squad still missing through injury, including captain Steven Gerrard (hamstring) and striker Daniel Sturridge (ankle).

Defensive trio Jon Flanagan (hamstring), Jose Enrique and Sebastian Coates (both knee) are also out, while winger Victor Moses is unavailable due to the conditions of his loan move from Chelsea.

Chelsea lie third in the Premier League, one place and one point above Liverpool, and are searching for a fourth straight home league victory following a 1-0 triumph over Swansea City on Boxing Day.

Eden Hazard notched the only goal of the game in the first half, and Mourinho will be looking for his side to lay down a marker in their final game of 2013.

He heads into the fixture without Ramires, who is suspended after he picked up his fifth booking of the season against Swansea, with Frank Lampard likely to take his spot.

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