Chelsea look to return to form at Stamford Bridge when they host Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.
In the Blues' last home match, they surrendered five goals to local rival Arsenal, after steamrolling through the competition at the Bridge throughout the season. Andre Villas-Boas's squad had outscored Premier League opponents 12-4 at home, prior to the Arsenal defeat.
A home victory won't be easy against Liverpool. The Reds haven't lost a Premier League road match since Sept. 18, when they fell to Tottenham, 4-0. Kenny Dalglish's side have a road draw against Manchester United, as well as a 2-0 win over Arsenal at Emirates Stadium, to their credit this season.
Dalglish could use a lift from forward Luis Suarez, who is not at 100 percent due to back problems. The Uruguay striker hasn't scored in a Premier League match since Oct. 1, when the Reds defeated Everton, but he continues to receive praise from the likes of teammate Steven Gerrard. Suarez will likely be marked by John Terry, which is an awkward coincidence since both have been embroiled in racism controversies in recent weeks.
While Liverpool could use some scoring punch from Suarez, Villas-Boas could use a goal from any of his Chelsea forwards at this point. No Blues forward has scored in Chelsea's last three Premier League matches, as Daniel Sturridge provided the last forward goal in the 3-1 win over Everton on Oct. 15. Didier Drogba has reportedly recovered from a minor arm operation and should be available, but key midfielder Michael Essien remains sidelined until perhaps January.
The main forward under the spotlight, however, continues to be Fernando Torres. The former Liverpool striker has had his moments with Chelsea, but they have been overshadowed by scoring droughts. Many continue to wonder if Torres's best days are behind him.
To Torres's credit, he knows that his play has not lived up to the standards of the Chelsea faithful, but continues to work hard.
Whenever I have had difficult times, I look at myself and say, 'Yes, I can get back to my level.' All that I need to do, above anything else, is to work, said Torres, according to FOX Sports. If you do that and things do not work out, you have nothing to be ashamed of. And I promise the one thing I have never done, and will never do in my life, is give up.
Both clubs are looking to come out of this match with at least a point, as the Premier League table is looking tighter as Arsenal have surged after a slow start, and with Manchester City dominating the competition.
Jamie Carragher may be in action for Liverpool following his calf injury. Gerrard, who has missed his last three matches with an ankle infection, remains sidelined.
D: Ivanovic, Terry, Bosingwa, Cole
M: Ramires, Lampard, Mikel, Mata
F: Sturridge, Torres
D: Johnson, Agger, Carragher, Enrique
M: Henderson, Lucas, Adam, Downing
F: Suarez, Kuyt
PREDICTION: Chelsea will be aggressive in the first half, and Torres and Sturridge will pressure Reina with some quality shots, and eventually find the back of the net. Liverpool get a lift from Andy Carroll in the second half, and the Reds put together some quality attacking possessions to level. Chelsea's efforts to score late in the match come up short.
PREDICTED SCORE: Chelsea 1, Liverpool 1