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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: LIVERPOOL V CHELSEA

The second of two away league games in a row takes the Blues to face the Merseyside Reds. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton follow up the Fulham game…

TALKING POINTS
This fixture carries less importance than it has for a few years - Liverpool are now 11 points behind Chelsea in the chase for UEFA places, having also played one more match. Two coaches also face former sides for whom they understandably retain great affection.

Never the less the legacy of 24 often-decisive games in five seasons between 2004 and 2009 should ensure an intense atmosphere for Brendan Rogers' 50th Liverpool match.

Having moved back up to third, Chelsea have much to play for and defend, while fellow contenders Everton, Arsenal and Tottenham have tricky games too. It is important the Pensioners gain points here for the first time since 2010.

KEY STAT
Liverpool have won 15 points from 45 against teams from the top half of the table.


A repeat of the Chelsea Under-18s' 2-0 FA Youth Cup semi-final win at Anfield a week ago would be welcome. The return leg in that tie is at the Bridge tonight (Friday) with the holders aiming to reach a fourth final in six seasons. Norwich City's youngsters lie in wait for the victors.

Chelsea are the third most successful club in this competition, having won it four times: 1960, 1961, 2010 and 2012.

The senior Blues arrive on Merseyside on the back of a first away league win since Stoke in January. All three goals in the efficient victory at Fulham came from centre-backs John Terry and David Luiz.

John Terry scores against Fulham

The goals tally for Chelsea defenders in all competitions this season now stands at 27 - seven for Branislav Ivanovic, six each for Terry and Gary Cahill, David Luiz weighs in with five, Ryan Bertrand two and Ashley Cole one.

That means the back four has contributed 21% of all goals scored so far this campaign. Terry actually took his career total to 55 - fewer than Lionel Messi, perhaps, but more than Andrés Iniesta.

With a possible nine further fixtures to play the Blues are on course to surpass the record-breaking 2009/10 Double-winning season.


Most Chelsea goals in a season
142 in 2009/10
129 in 2012/13
121 in 1964/65
117 in 1960/61 and 2006/07
112 in 2011/12
110 in 2008/09


David Luiz reached 100 appearances against Fulham, and Frank Lampard his 600th. Just two Chelsea players have previously reached that milestone: three-decades goalkeeper Peter Bonetti and two-times trophy winning skipper Ron Harris.

Between them the other two 600 Club members notched 14 goals (all from 'Chopper'), compared to Lampard's 200 and counting. It is virtually impossible to overstate the importance of Super Frank in our club's history.

After drawing at Upton Park, Manchester United's maximum possible points total this season falls to 96. Sir Alex Ferguson had publicly challenged his team to beat the all-time haul of 95, set by Jose Mourinho's Chelsea in 2004/05 but unless they win all five remaining matches the Red Devils will now fall just short.

KEY TWEET
Who were the opponents for Anfield's highest ever league attendance of 58,757 in Dec 1949? #CFCPMB


In the quest for Champions League places Spurs also face a difficult test at home to last season's champions. Man City have won all four of their recent encounters.

Fulham drew 3-3 at the Emirates earlier this season, ex-Spurs man Berbatov grabbing two, and they will fancy their chances of spiking the Gunners again at Craven Cottage.

Sunderland hit form last weekend just at the wrong time for Everton, who impressed in Tuesday's 0-0 draw at Arsenal. However the Mackems have not licked the Toffees for almost 12 years.


Barclays Premier League fixtures

Saturday
Fulham v Arsenal 3pm
Norwich v Reading 3pm
QPR v Stoke 3pm
Sunderland v Everton 3pm
Swansea v Southampton 3pm
West Brom v Newcastle 3pm
West Ham v Wigan 3pm
Sunday
Tottenham v Manchester City 1.30pm - Sky Sports
Liverpool v Chelsea 4pm Sky Sports
Monday
Manchester United v Aston Villa 8pm - Sky Sports

 

Barclays Premier League top half
Top Pld Gd Pts
1 Man Utd 33 +40 81
2 Man City 32 +31 68
3 Chelsea 32 +31 61
4 Arsenal 33 +29 60
5 Tottenham 32 +15 58
6 Everton 33  +14 56
7 Liverpool 33 +19 50
8 West Brom 32 -1 44
9 Swansea 32 +1 41
10 Fulham 33 -7 40

 

The race for the Champions League - Games remaining
Chelsea (6) Arsenal (5) Tottenham (6)
Liverpool (a) Fulham (a) Man City (h)
Swansea (h) Man Utd (h) Wigan (a)
Man Utd (a) QPR (a) Southampton (h)
Tottenham (h) Wigan (h) Chelsea (a)
Aston Villa (a) Newcastle (a) Stoke (a)
Everton (h) Sunderland (h)

Click on tabs above for more briefing. 

 

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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: LIVERPOOL V CHELSEA

WE HAVE HISTORY
Liverpool are looking to extend their unbeaten Premier League run against Chelsea to six games. The 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge in November ended a sequence of four Liverpool league victories against the Blues.

How Chelsea could do with a repeat of October 2005, when José Mourinho was in charge of the Blues and Rafael Benitez was at the Liverpool helm.

Back then, an emphatic win at Anfield reasserted the Premier League champions' domestic dominance following a 0-0 Champions League draw at the same stadium the five days earlier.

The hosts made just one change from the Wednesday - striker Djibril Cissé making way for defender-cum-wideman John Arne Riise - while the league leaders recalled Joe Cole and Asier Del Horno for Arjen Robben and Paulo Ferreira, William Gallas swapping sides at full-back.

Some bookmakers had already decided to pay out on Chelsea retaining the title and their judgment did not look premature once Mourinho's men had shaken off Blues target Steven Gerrard's equaliser in a sometimes ill-tempered encounter.

Frank Lampard had struck the first blow from the spot inside half an hour after Djimi Traore had clumsily felled Didier Drogba in the box.

Drogba had been clattered and was hobbling back, not there to defend the corner that Gerrard eventually dispatched.

The Ivorian made amends shortly before half-time, monstering Steve Finnan and Sami Hyppia before setting Damien Duff (pictured below) up to score off the inside of the far post.

Duff Chelsea


After the break Liverpool came out and attacked, allowing the Londoners to show their devastating efficiency on the counter, with Drogba the destroyer.

The home side were reduced to Riise hurling long throws in towards Peter Crouch - to no avail.

With skill and power Drogba created Chelsea's third for Cole midway through the second half, then set up a fourth for Gérémi with eight minutes to go.

Mourinho's Blues went on to complete back-to-back league title wins as the bookmakers predicted.

Last season Liverpool achieved the double against Chelsea for the third time in four seasons.

Chelsea have won four and drawn one of our last nine Premier League games at Anfield which is some feat as the previous 60 league matches only saw five Blues wins.

After a 3-2 win in 1935, we endured 56 years of leaving Anfield without maximum points. The game in February 1992 brings back happy memories of Vinnie Jones's 25-yard opener and Dennis Wise's winner after Ronnie Rosenthal equalised for Liverpool. Both Blues were ex-Wimbledon players. One Merseyside newspaper used the headline: 'Reds Mugged By Crazy Gang.'


Our last 10 away league meetings at Anfield
2002/03 - Liverpool won 1-0
2003/04 - Chelsea won 2-1
2004/05 - Chelsea won 1-0
2005/06 - Chelsea won 4-1
2006/07 - Liverpool won 2-0
2007/08 - Drew 1-1
2008/09 - Liverpool won 2-0
2009/10 - Chelsea won 2-0
2010/11 - Liverpool won 2-0
2011/12 - Liverpool won 4-1


PMB

 

The reverse fixture this season
11 November 2012 Barclays Premier League
Chelsea………..……1 Liverpool……..….…1
Terry 19                          Suárez 72
                       Att: 41,627


Liverpool v Chelsea in all competitions
Games played 165
Chelsea wins 57
Liverpool wins 74
Draws 34


Head to head in the  League at Anfield
Games played 69
Chelsea wins 9
Liverpool wins 46
Draws 14


Biggest league win at Anfield for each team
Liverpool 6-0 Chelsea - 20/04/1935
Liverpool 1-4 Chelsea - 25/12/1907 & 02/10/2005


DAYS SINCE
Chelsea won the league: 1,078
Liverpool won the league: 8,386
Arsenal won a trophy: 2,891


Visit again tomorrow for more brieifing.

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