Sun 11 Nov 2012 16:00 (Attendance: 41,627)
These two sides head in to this Sunday's game following European action with contrasting team selections and contrasting results. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton face up to a familiar foe…
There was a time when Chelsea and Liverpool seemingly met in every competition imaginable each season. Between 2004 and 2009 we played each other 24 times, virtually five games a season.
2009 to 2011 brought a trial separation - just league matches - but the affair was back on with a vengeance last season, encounters in both domestic cup competitions adding to the annual fixtures.
The Scousers have won five of the last six meetings, but it was Chelsea's day when the two teams met in last season's FA Cup final at Wembley, goals from Ramires (pictured below) and Didier Drogba making Andy Carroll's strike a mere consolation.
This is the first Barclays Premier League match for which John Terry is available after his ban. In his absence Chelsea conceded 12 goals in five matches on all fronts. The Blues have not managed to prevent the opposition scoring in the last seven matches.
Visitors Liverpool are without a win in three domestic matches and have slipped into the bottom half of the Premier League with 11 points from 10 matches. This is their worst showing from the start of a league season since 1910/11. After 10 games back then they were bottom with just six points.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers was of course an important and much admired member of the backroom staff at Chelsea in the mid-2000s, known for his modern methodology.
In the recent Channel 5 series Being: Liverpool he was seen using a mind game on his players, holding up three sealed envelopes supposedly containing the names of the people 'who will let us down this season.' He might now wonder whether he filled enough envelopes.
Many of Rodgers's squad missed the long-haul round trip to play Anzhi Makhachkala in Moscow this week. Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Joe Allen, Nuri Sahin, Raheem Sterling, José Enrique and Pepe Reina all stayed at home to prepare for this game.
The Blues played at home on Wednesday night and enjoyed a huge morale boost, inflicting a first defeat in 25 matches on highly impressive Shakhtar Donetsk.
The importance of Victor Moses's last-seconds strike - his third header for the Blues - was evident in the goalscorer's multiple celebrations. But the real victor value lies in the three points.
Crucially, a share of the spoils in the Juventus Stadium on 20 November would now leave the Blues requiring a win at home against Nordsjaelland to progress to the knockout phase of this competition. Victory in Turin would confirm Chelsea's qualification there and then.
Barclays Premier League fixtures
Arsenal v Fulham 3pm
Everton v Sunderland 3pm
Reading v Norwich 3pm
Southampton v Swansea 3pm
Stoke v QPR 3pm
Wigan v West Brom 3pm
Aston Villa v Manchester United 5.30pm - Sky Sports
Manchester City v Tottenham 1.30pm - Sky Sports
Newcastle v West Ham 3pm
Chelsea v Liverpool 4pm - Sky Sports
|Barclays Premier League table|
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After a thrilling victory in Europe, Chelsea aim for a return to winning ways in the League. Clive Walker, former Blues winger and architect of memorable triumphs over Liverpool in the past, plots the battleground...
'We are finding it hard to shut the opposition out but Liverpool are struggling in front of goal, so I think if we score first, we win,' he says.
'Make no mistake, clean sheets are important to goalkeepers and defenders. Just as attacking players are measured in goals and assists, a clean sheet shows they're doing their job at the back very well, and it's the only thing they always get a pat on back for.
'We are all enjoying the open football - it's a joy to watch. But sometimes the players maybe stay too expansive when it might be better to seal things up and frustrate the other team a little.
'The main threat from Liverpool is all too obvious. Andy Carroll has gone, Fabio Borini is injured, Steven Gerrard is no longer the regular goal threat he was, and so the burden is pretty much all on Luis Suárez.
'If we keep him quiet it will make life very difficult for Liverpool. John Terry seems likely to come back. He has the leadership we sometimes lack; we defend better with him playing.
'We will have to pay special attention to Joe Allen (pictured below left). He is their fulcrum and embodies Brendan Rodgers's style; he's the man he brought in to make Liverpool tick. They play everything through him, and more often than not he looks straight away to set Suárez up.
'You have to stop Allen high up the park. He can be a danger because his passing is exceptional. I'm sure Robbie Di Matteo will have pointed out the importance of pressing the ball and keeping him under wraps.
'Mind you, Allen and Gerrard will have their hands full with our three attacking midfielders. Neither Juan Mata nor Eden Hazard had their best games in midweek, and you have to almost write-off much of a defensive contribution from them. Oscar is different. He is always aware of the opposition attacking threat and maybe he can sit deeper at certain times when we need it.
'Victor Moses has done terrifically in recent weeks. He's relishing any time he has on the pitch. He is still learning and benefiting from the players he's working with now.
'His goals have earned us four points in two games. But I don't yet see him as a main striker; maybe just behind. He's the type of guy whose power and willingness make things happen.
'If I was in his boots I'd be dying for the next game, chomping at the bit. That is the type of players you need throughout the season: coming in, in form and doing a job.
'Moses is another who is a little more aware of the need to help out his defenders. That can be useful against the better wingers in an opposition side.
'Liverpool have Raheem Sterling in that department. He's just been called up for England and like Moses he is young, very effective and quick.
'He can ghost past players and he can deliver - whether he can maintain that over a season we don't yet know. He plays a lot on the left side and checks back onto his right. We have to keep a good back line and be aware of his movement. But is he where their goals will come from this season?
'Chelsea don't have that problem. We have not far off double the goals they have - 22 versus 12 - and Torres will be happy he has hit the net for the first time in a little while.
'A striker doesn't worry how the ball ends up in the net, and that Shakhtar goal was his reward for chasing the ball down. It was also the fourth time he's opened the scoring for us this season, and as I said the first goal can be so important.
'He hasn't been getting much of a rub of the green. But after his goal on Wednesday you saw him smiling his way through the game - he's scored and he's still hungry, and waiting for the next opportunity. That has to be good for the team.'
Former Chelsea defender Glen Johnson could return for Liverpool following a hamstring injury. There is less chance goalkeeper Jose Reina could be back following his hamstring injury.
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WE HAVE HISTORY
Liverpool were the first opposition ever to play at Stamford Bridge, in a friendly on 4 September 1905. The Pensioners won 4-0 with goals from Martin Moran, Jimmy Windridge and Bob McRoberts with a brace.
It is a fixture that has often gone the hosts' way even when our fortunes were otherwise at a low ebb.
In March 1978 Liverpool arrived as European champions and title-chasers to play a Chelsea side 16th in Division One and still smarting from defeat in the FA Cup at the hands of lowly Orient. The Blues had dumped Liverpool out of the same competition a few months earlier at the Bridge and 35,550 came to see if the triumph could be repeated.
Lightning was indeed about to strike twice. The Reds actually took the lead early in the second half when Mickey Droy was ruled to have fouled Kenny Dalglish in the box; Phil Neal converted the spot-kick.
With Ray Wilkins orchestrating from midfield, though, the Blues equalised five minutes later. The Chelsea skipper sent Tommy Langley scurrying down the left, and Ray Clemence was easily beaten from just inside the box.
The goal that handed Ken Shellito's side the lead featured what the perpetrator Alan Hanson would undoubtedly call 'schoolboy stuff' - the Scot sending a back-pass towards Clemence that was intercepted by striker Steve Finnieston and gleefully dispatched.
With panic rising in the Liverpudlians' experienced back four Emlyn Hughes gifted a back header to the same Chelsea attacker, who made it 3-1. 'Our week started as a disaster,' said Shellito afterwards. 'It's nice to have something to smile about now.'
Back to the present, and Liverpool are looking for a fifth successive victory against the Blues in the Premier League.
Last season Liverpool achieved the double against Chelsea for the third time in four seasons.
Liverpool have won five times in 30 encounters at Stamford Bridge since 1990 although the Blues have won 11 of our last 16 home Premier League meetings.
Our last league win at Stamford Bridge was three years ago when second-half goals from Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda secured the points for the Blues.
Our last 10 league meetings at Stamford Bridge
2002/03 - Chelsea won 2-1
2003/04 - Liverpool won 1-0
2004/05 - Chelsea won 1-0
2005/06 - Chelsea won 2-0
2006/07 - Chelsea won 1-0
2007/08 - Drew 0-0
2008/09 - Liverpool won 1-0
2009/10 - Chelsea won 2-0
2010/11 - Liverpool won 1-0
2011/12 - Liverpool won 2-1
Other matches last season
29 November 2011 Carling Cup quarter-final
Maxi Rodriguez 57
5 May 2012 FA Cup final (Wembley)
Ramires 10 Carroll 63
8 May 2012 Barclays Premier League
Essien og 18 Ramires 49
Liverpool v Chelsea in all competitions
Games played 164
Chelsea wins 57
Liverpool wins 74
Head to head in the League at Stamford Bridge
Games played 69
Chelsea wins 37
Liverpool wins 18
Biggest league win at Stamford Bridge for each team
Chelsea 6-1 Liverpool - 28/08/1937
Chelsea 2-5 Liverpool - 16/12/1989
Chelsea won a trophy: 176
Arsenal won a trophy: 2,731
Liverpool won the league: 8,226
Visit again tomorrow for part two of the Briefing.
The Blues are nine points better off after 10 games compared to the corresponding games last season.
Swansea was the seventh occasion we opened the scoring in a Barclays Premier League game this term and the first when we didn't go on to win the game.
The Blues have not kept a clean sheet for seven matches, five in the Premier League, although we are the top flight's second highest scorers.
We have won 18 of our 24 matches at Stamford Bridge in 2012. The two defeats were against Newcastle and Man Utd.
|Last six results|
|Oct 20||Tottenham (a)||W 4-2|
|Oct 23||Shakhtar Donetsk (Champions League a)||L 1-2|
|Oct 28||Manchester United (h)||L 2-3|
|Oct 31||Manchester United (League Cup h)||W 5-4 aet|
|Nov 3||Swansea (a)||D 1-1|
|Nov 7||Shakhtar Donetsk (Champions League h)||W 3-2|
League games since
A home win: 1
A home draw: 9
A home defeat: 0
|Chelsea's next three games|
|Sat 3 Nov||Swansea City away||3pm|
|Tue 20 Nov||Juventus (Champions League) away||7.45pm|
|Sun 25 Nov||Manchester City home||4pm|
18 League championships, last in 1990
7 FA Cups, last in 2006
8 League Cups, last in 2012
15 FA Charity/Community Shields (5 shared), last in 2006
5 European Cups, last in 2005
3 UEFA Cups, last in 2001
3 UEFA Super Cups, last in 2005
Their last top-flight win was in the old First Division over 22 years ago when a points total of 79 was enough to lift the trophy in 1990.
Liverpool have only won two of their opening 10 league games, away at Norwich and home to Reading.
They are unbeaten in five Premier League games since losing to Man Utd at Anfield in September.
Liverpool have failed to win any of the four games when their opponents opened the scoring.
They have only lost to West Brom on their travels this term, drawn at Sunderland and Everton and beat Norwich at Carrow Road.
Captain Steven Gerrard made his 600th appearance for the Reds at Anfield last week against Newcastle.
Manager Brendan Rodgers
Days in charge: 163
|Liverpool's last 10 year league history|
|Last six results|
|Oct 20||Reading (h)||W 1-0|
|Oct 25||Anzhi Makhachkala (Europa League h)||W 1-0|
|Oct 28||Everton (a)||D 2-2|
|Oct 31||Swansea (League Cup h)||L 1-3|
|Nov 4||Newcastle (h)||D 1-1|
|Nov 8||Anzhi Makhachkala (Europa League a)||L 0-1|
Premier League scorers
Suárez 7, own goals 2, Gerrard 1, Şahin 1, Skrtel 1, Sterling 1. Total 13.
League games since
An away win: 1
An away draw: 0
An away defeat: 3
LIVERPOOL'S MAJOR SUMMER MOVES
Ins Joe Allen (Swansea, £15m), Oussama Assaidi (Heerenveen, £3m), Fabio Borini (Roma, £10m), Nuri Şahin (Real Madrid, loan), Samed Yesil (Bayern Munich, £1m)
Outs Charlie Adam (Stoke, £4m), Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina, £6m), Fabio Aurelio (Gremio, free), Craig Bellamy (Cardiff, free), Andy Carroll (West Ham, loan), Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahçe, £1m), Maxi Rodriguez (Newell's Old Boys, free), Jay Spearing (Bolton, loan)
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Howard Webb's last Chelsea match was the 6-1 demolition of QPR at Stamford Bridge in April.
An early header from John Terry, who would later be carried off on a stretcher, was not enough for all three points as Liverpool came from behind thanks to a close-range Luiz Suarez header at Stamford Bridge.
Having seen both Manchester United and Manchester City win earlier in the weekend, the Blues will have been hungry for victory against a side we have found troublesome.
All looked to be going well when Terry headed us in front in the 20th minute, only to be stretchered off a quarter of an hour later with what looked like a nasty knee injury.
Chelsea still looked comfortable though, and so it came as a shock when Suarez levelled for Liverpool with 18 minutes remaining, and although both sides had chances to snatch it, neither did enough in the end.
Terry was back from his four-game domestic suspension to lead Chelsea out, and he was partnered in the centre of defence by Branislav Ivanovic, who was preferred to Gary Cahill with Cesar Azpilicueta starting at right-back. David Luiz missed out with illness, and Ryan Bertrand continued at left-back in the absence of Ashley Cole.
Further forward there was an increasingly familiar look to the Blues, while on the bench was Marko Marin, who still awaited a Barclays Premier League debut after his summer arrival.
Liverpool, of course managed by former Chelsea coach Brendan Rodgers, had ex-Blues in their squad too, with Glen Johnson starting in an advanced role on the right, and Joe Cole among the subs.
Elsewhere on the field Jamie Carrragher was called in at centre-back in the absence of Martin Skrtel, and would spend his afternoon focused on former red Fernando Torres.
It was Carragher who inadvertently gave Chelsea the first chance of the game, the defender stepping forward to intercept a loose ball after Joe Allen was caught in possession, only to feed Eden Hazard, whose first-time through ball set Oscar away into the Liverpool area, but under pressure, the Brazilian shot high on his weaker left side.
With three central defenders and two deep midfielders, Liverpool were set up to limit what Chelsea could do coming forward, and it worked fairly well for the first 19 minutes until Torres forced a corner, Mata whipped it in from the right and Terry, unmarked, headed hard and high into the top corner to give the home side the lead.
Few can claim to lead by example in quite the same way as the 31-year-old, who in scoring netted his 50th Chelsea goal, the first defender to reach that milestone.
Seven minutes later Chelsea perhaps should have doubled the advantage as Hazard set off on a mazy run before slipping in Torres, whose shot was parried back to Hazard by stand-in Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones, the Belgian misfiring his volley wide of the target.
Barring a couple of unfruitful corners, Liverpool had done little to worry Petr Cech inside the opening half-hour, Nuri Sahin's low drive, a yard or two wide, the closest they had come.
Injury would hit Terry shortly afterwards, the captain hurt in the line of duty as he stopped Suarez, who fell awkwardly across the Chelsea man's leg, and looked to cause knee damage. A lengthy period of treatment followed, and a stretcher was required to take Terry off. Cahill was the readymade replacement.
The injury allowed for five minutes of injury time, and in that period Juan Mata, until then quite, should have doubled our lead. The Spaniard picked up a loose ball inside the Liverpool half and strode towards goal, beating Carragher before letting fly from just inside the box.
Form would tell you the Barclays Premier League Player of the Month for October would score, but instead, he lifted it over the bar, and Liverpool were still in the game.
Joe Allen became the game's first booking on 49 minutes. Having been robbed of possession by Torres, the midfielder had little option but to pull the striker down with Chelsea forming a dangerous looking counter-attack.
It was not the first time Allen, usually efficient and effective with the ball, had been caught in possession as the Liverpool middle struggled to get a hold of the game.
A flurry of action, lacking in the first half, was to follow. First Johnson was booked for an elbow on Oscar, and from Haard's free-kick Jones produced a superb reflex save to deny Torres a first goal against his former team.
On 63 minutes, Torres had another sniff of goal after Mata released Bertrand and the left-back crossed low to the near post, but he could not quite connect cleanly.
Reds skipper Steven Gerrard was cautioned for a foul on Oscar, which presented Mata with the opportunity to whip the ball into the danger area. His cross was just too high for Torres, but in punching the ball away Jones only diverted it into John Mikel Obi, who was unfortunate to see the ball drop wide of the post.
At the other end Raheem Sterling, now playing a little deeper than he had started, had a volley blocked by Cahill but it still looked as though Chelsea were the more likely to score again.
Imagine the surprise around Stamford Bridge then when Liverpool struck an equaliser. Another corner saw Carragher break free from his marker and flick the ball towards the far post, where Suarez squirmed free of Ramires and nodded in.
Needing a goal, Roberto Di Matteo looked to his midweek match-winner, Victor Moses, to provide inspiration from the bench, and the Nigerian replaced Oscar with 14 minutes to go. Moses went to right-wing, and Mata down the middle.
Suddenly it was Liverpool on the front foot and looking dangerous, players previously on the edge of the action, like Suarez and Gerrard, were beginning to play while Chelsea sent long balls forward to an outnumbered Torres, who would be replaced with nine minutes to go by Daniel Sturridge.
Liverpool sub Suso had a superb chance to put his side in front when Sterling burst down the right and pulled back, but he miscued and Chelsea could build again.
Would there be a late winner?
Ivanovic headed over for Chelsea between two Suarez moments, the first a speculative 50-yarder that made Cech work back to palm it away, the next a run on goal that the goalkeeper denied with an alert run from his line.
In the final minute of normal time, Hazard drove wide before four more were indicated.
After three-and-a-half Cech had to go down to his right to deny Jose Enrique a Liverpool winner, and that would be the game's final chance.
It was two points dropped rather than one gained for Di Matteo's men, and there would now be concern for Terry, whose absence, if there is to be one, will be sorely felt.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Terry (c) (Cahill 39), Bertrand; Mikel, Ramires; Mata, Oscar (Moses 76), Hazard; Torres (Sturridge 81).
Unused subs Turnbull, Ferreira, Romeu, Marin.
Scorer Terry 19
Booked Mikel 78
Liverpool (3-4-1-2): Jones; Wisdom, Carragher, Agger; Johnson, Allen, Şahin (Suso 59), Enrique; Gerrard (c); Sterling, Suarez.
Unused subs Gulacsi, Coates, Henderson, Downing, Cole, Assaidi.
Scorer Suarez 72
Booked Allen 49, Johnson 55, Gerrard 66
Referee Howard Webb