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Premier League

  • February 6, 2011
  • • 16:00
  • • Stamford Bridge, London
  • Referee: A. Marriner
  • • Attendance: 41829
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Premier League Preview: Chelsea – Liverpool

Premier League Preview: Chelsea – Liverpool

Fernando Torres expected to make debut against Reds; Luis Suarez in line for first start for visitors

Chelsea's New Number Nine

Chelsea welcome Liverpool on Sunday with all eyes very much focused on one man, Fernando Torres. The Spaniard’s move from Anfield to Stamford Bridge has prompted much discussion and even pictures of his old Liverpool shirt being burnt on Merseyside, yet a quirk of fate means he should make his first outing in a blue shirt against the men in red.

The good news for Torres is that this is a fixture the striker seems to thrive on. The Spaniard scored seven goals in eight games for Liverpool against Chelsea, including both strikes in the Reds’ 2-0 win at Anfield back in November.

The 26-year-old has vowed not to celebrate if he does find the net on Sunday, but having scored on his Anfield debut, few would bet against Torres being on the scoresheet at Stamford Bridge.

Onwards And Upwards

The gloom surrounding Torres’ departure did not last long at Anfield, no doubt helped by the arrivals of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll. Suarez then introduced himself to his new fans with a goal in the midweek win over Stoke City to ensure the Kop have a new hero.

Whilst that will undoubtedly have given the Reds a welcome boost, so will their recent form which has seen them win three on the bounce, with three clean sheets to boot, and move up to seventh in the table.

However, their recent Premier League record at Stamford Bridge is poor. The Reds have failed to score on five of their last six visits and have managed just one win since 2004, when they needed Jose Bosingwa to put through his own net to secure victory. 

TEAM NEWS

Chelsea

The £50 million man Fernando Torres is expected to make his debut against Liverpool and could be joined by another new boy, David Luiz, who is also available.

Alex, Yossi Benayoun and Yury Zhirkov remain on the injured list but other than that trio manager Carlo Ancelotti has a full squad to chose from and possibly a selection headache over how best to accommodate his new striker.

Possible starting XI: Cech; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole; Essien, Mikel, Lampard; Anelka; Torres, Drogba.

Liverpool

After scoring on his debut against Stoke City, Luis Suarez is expected to make his first start for the Reds. However, fellow new boy Andy Carroll is still some way off making his debut due to a thigh problem.

Christian Poulsen is a doubt with a back problem and a knee injury may prevent Joe Cole from facing his former employers.

Jamie Carragher returns to the squad after recovering from a dislocated shoulder, however Kenny Dalglish has refused to confirm whether he will go straight into the starting line-up.

Possible starting XI: Reina; Kelly, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson; Kuyt, Gerrard, Lucas, Maxi, Meireles; Suarez.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Petr CechGoalkeeper
3José BosingwaDefender
2Branislav IvanovicDefender
26John TerryDefender
3Ashley ColeDefender
-Michael EssienMidfielder
8Frank LampardMidfielder
12John Obi MikelMidfielder
21Nicolas AnelkaStriker
9Fernando TorresStriker
11Didier DrogbaStriker
21Ross TurnbullGoalkeeper
20Paulo FerreiraDefender
51Josh McEachranMidfielder
26Jacopo SalaMidfielder
21Salomon KalouStriker
23David LuizDefender
15Florent MaloudaMidfielder
25Pepe ReinaGoalkeeper
37Martin SkrtelDefender
5Daniel AggerDefender
23Jamie CarragherDefender
8Steven GerrardMidfielder
34Martin KellyDefender
21Lucas LeivaMidfielder
2Glen JohnsonDefender
11Maxi RodríguezMidfielder
-Raúl MeirelesMidfielder
-Dirk KuytStriker
42Peter GulacsiGoalkeeper
16Sotirios KyrgiakosDefender
54David NgogStriker
9Luis SuárezStriker
6Fabio AurelioDefender
28Christian PoulsenMidfielder
Players to Watch
Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
All eyes will be on Fernando Torres as the British record signing makes his debut against his former team. Much will be expected of the man with the enormous price tag but in truth he has rarely sparkled this season.

Yet despite this lack of form he still has nine goals to his name and alongside the likes of Malouda, Lampard, Anelka and Drogba will hope to break into double figures against a defence he will know inside out.
Raúl Meireles
Raúl Meireles
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Although Liverpool will look to Luis Suarez for goals against Chelsea, their danger-man may well be Raul Meireles who is becoming an increasingly impressive figure at Anfield as he adjusts to life in England.

The former Porto man has been key to the Reds’ recent revival and has found a much-needed goalscoring touch too. With three goals in his last four games he will not lack for confidence and will hope to guide his team to a league double over the Blues.
Prediction
A mouth-watering match is in prospect at Stamford Bridge as two teams who have finally found some form go head-to-head. Add in the Torres saga and there should also be that extra bit of spice to the game, if any were needed.

Liverpool will be aiming to do the double over the Blues but Carlo Ancelotti’s men have looked more like their old selves in recent weeks and with home advantage, the champions will be slight favourites.
Editor's Prediction

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