Chelsea vs. Liverpool: Key Battles to Watch
A glance at the Premier League table will tell you that Chelsea, placed second, are the superior team on paper. The home side has been the in form team this season, and will be the favorites to beat the Reds, who sit in 12th place.
However, Chelsea's recent dip in League form could make this a closer match than those standings suggest. A loss to Manchester United was followed by a draw to Swansea last Saturday.
The two clubs have also suffered mixed fortunes in Europe this week, which adds extra spice to the mixture.
These two teams have always produced closely fought contests and surprising results. And they are sure to produce one more this weekend.
It is a match that could have important implications for both clubs, as well as a big impact on the EPL title race.
That said, here are a few key battles. These are the places where the game will be won or lost.
Torres vs. Skrtel
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This could be one of the defining battles in the match.
Fernando Torres scored midweek against Shakhtar Donetsk, though the goal was a tad fortunate. Will he be able to add a goal on Sunday?
Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger will try their best to prevent it.
The defensive pair have been a mixed bag so far this season, but it will take a solid game from both players if they are to stop the Spaniard.
Torres may not be displaying the goalscoring form of his Liverpool days, but Wednesday's goal showed that he is a poacher at heart and can still tap them in when necessary.
Of the two Liverpool defenders, Skrtel is perhaps the more prone to error. He will have to give a performance free of mistakes on Sunday if the reds are to triumph.
Sterling vs. Bertrand
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Ashley Cole is again a doubt for this weekend's match, which means it once again falls upon Ryan Bertrand to deputize.
Bertrand put in a shaky performance against Shakhtar Donetsk, and will have to improve on Sunday.
Raheem Sterling will be the man hoping to exploit any weaknesses in Bertrand's game, as Brendan Rodgers looks to utilize the space down the wing.
However, after the scare against Shakhtar, expect Bertrand to step up his game.
Mata vs. Allen
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Juan Mata has been in incredible form this season. He will surely be the one who holds the key to a Chelsea victory.
The Liverpool defense will want to limit his play as much as possible, but it is likely to be Joe Allen who is faced with the tough task of providing the all-important extra cover.
Allen is not the most natural of defensive midfielders, so expect Mata to give him a hard time.
Suarez vs. Terry
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Two of the most controversial EPL players will meet in this match, and it is a battle that is sure to ignite more drama.
John Terry, returning from suspension, did not start the match against Shakhtar Donetsk. After the Blues' defensive performance on Wednesday, Roberto Di Matteo will surely opt for a Terry-Cahill pairing on Sunday.
Luis Suarez is in blistering form this season, so from a Chelsea perspective, Terry's return could not come soon enough.
Whichever two of Terry, Cahill and David Luiz, Di Matteo selects will have a hard task against the Uruguayan.