The complicated love story with Rafa Benitez caught between two of British football’s biggest beaus takes a lively twist this Sunday with Chelsea visiting Liverpool.
With Chelsea trying to maintain a roll and stay ahead of Tottenham and Arsenal as they occupy third place – a position they hold thanks to a thrashing of Fulham while the Gunners misfired at home to Everton – there is a feeling that this may be a confident Benitez side travelling north.
Liverpool, by contrast, were goalless against floundering Reading on Saturday, and despite the jinx they have appeared to have over Chelsea in recent years, much will be expected of Luis Suarez in their hunt to topple Chelsea and their back-line, with John Terry uneasy and David Luiz casting longing looks at the midfield.
With much attention on Benitez and his own fans at his back though, do not be surprised if the Zorro-masked Fernando Torres pops up with a cameo. With games like this, form and sense tend to matter little, so the Spaniard and the Uruguayan may make telling contributions.
KICK-OFF: Sunday, 4pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Chelsea 1 (Terry) Liverpool 1 (Suarez), Premier League, November 2012
Liverpool 4 (Essien OG, Henderson, Agger, Shelvey) Chelsea 1 (Ramires), Premier League, May 2012
Chelsea 2 (Ramires, Drogba) Liverpool 1 (Carroll), FA Cup, May 2012
Liverpool have not lost in their last five league meetings with Chelsea, winning four times.
Chelsea boast an attack with two players at the top of the assist charts, with both Mata and Hazard having assisted 14 times each.
Luis Suarez has more shots in the Premier League than anyone else, with 163 attempts on goal.
Chelsea have scored more headed goals than any other team this term, with 14. Demba Ba has only scored two headers this season, though, with Torres also only nodding in with two. Meanwhile, all four of John Terry’s goals have come from headers.
Liverpool to win: 2.18
Chelsea to win: 3.7
TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at 4pm, highlights on BBC1 at 10.25pm.