Struggling Chelsea will move level on points with Liverpool if they defeat the Reds in Saturday’s early kick-off at Stamford Bridge.
Jose Mourinho’s team continued their troubled start to the season with a defeat on penalties at Stoke in the Capital One Cup in midweek and lie 15th in the Premier League with just 11 points from their opening 10 games.
Most startling has been the Blues’ defensive woes – they had the tightest backline in the top flight last season but this time out only Norwich, Bournemouth and Newcastle have conceded more.
Their tally of 19 goals conceded is more than they let in throughout the whole of their 2004/05 title-winning campaign in what was Mourinho’s first year at the club.
The hosts do have a strong recent record against this weekend’s opponents, however; they are unbeaten in their last eight league and cup games against the Merseyside outfit.
Liverpool earned their first win under new manager Jurgen Klopp in midweek as they defeated Bournemouth 1-0 in the Capital One Cup, but need to turn draws into wins to climb the league table; four of their last five matches have ended with the points shared.
The new Reds boss has got the better of Saturday’s opposite number before; his Borussia Dortmund side defeated Mourinho’s Real Madrid at the semi-final stage of the 2012/13 Champions League.
However, they haven’t won at Stamford Bridge since November 2011 when Glen Johnson’s late winner secured a 2-1 win, but they’ll be looking to capitalise on their hosts’ vulnerabilities this weekend.
For the home side, Diego Costa is a doubt after injuring his ribs at Stoke in midweek, whilst Pedro has returned to training and could feature.
Nemanja Matic was sent off in last weekend’s defeat at West Ham but saw out his suspension on Tuesday night and is back in contention.
Christian Benteke is fit to take his place up front for the visitors and is likely to replace his Belgian compatriot Divock Origi, but Daniel Sturridge remains sidelined.
James Milner returns from a ban to add industry to the Reds’ engine room.
League Position: Chelsea – 15th (11 pts); Liverpool – 9th (14 pts)
Last Meeting: Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool – May 10th, 2015
Key Men: Chelsea – Cesc Fabregas; Liverpool – Christian Benteke
Form: Chelsea – LWDLWL; Liverpool – LDWDDD
Shoot Says: Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool