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Stop That Bus: AA's Chelsea Preview

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We return home to face Chelsea in another all important game with 3 to go.

Michael Regan

US: 9:05AM EST-NBC Sports

UK: 2:05PM GMT-Sky Sports

After yet another nervy finish at Carrow Road last weekend, we now face Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday. The Kop will need to sing us home, in what will surely be another raucous, if tense, atmosphere.

Daniel Sturridge will have a late fitness test after he missed the last match due to a Hamstring injury picked up against Man City in our last home game. Jordan Henderson will also be missing his 2nd game of a 3 game ban, and Jose Enrique remains the only other miss, hough Victor Moses will also miss out due to the terms of his loan deal.

Luis Suarez ended a little mini scoring drought with his tap in against Norwich, though it wasn't the 2 and 3 we've seen before from him, and instead from Raheem Sterling, who had another great game, opening the scoring with the thunderbolt of a first goal, and then scoring what ended up being the eventual match winner off a deflection. We'll need another great performance from him going into this game.

Joe Allen had a decent game last week, as the direct replacement for Hendo, and we'll see if he can kick on, with his problem being against the big sides, that he can't always get into the game the way he'd like.

The tandem between Sterling, Phillipe Coutinho, and Lui was on show last week, and if DStudge misses again, that'll probably be our way forward again, with Phil in a free role. 

For Chelsea, John Terry, Petr Cech, and Samuel Eto'o are set to miss, with Eden Hazard listed as "very doubtful". Also, Ramires is on his first game of a suspension for slapping Sebastian Larsson last week, and so will miss the rest of this season, and the beginning of next.

Chelsea have lost 3 out of their last 6 including that all important one from Sunderland at Stamford Bridge last week, and drawn one and lost 2 of their last 6 away from home.

Current form, injuries, and a Champions League 2nd leg against Athletico Madrid in midweek has prompted Jose Mourinho to say he will field a "weakened side" coming to Anfield, though you'll never expect him to just roll over, do you?

Some other thoughts:

-I expect drama. There always is when we play Chelsea... Garcia in 2005, Penalties in '07, just to name a few. And this game is just as big. (JAceKopite16)

-No matter what this "weakened side" is, we have to be prepared for anything and everything. We're Liverpool, they're Chelsea, hold concentration on what we need to do, not them. (JAceKopite16)

-Danny Agger needs to come in for this. The stats say that Mama Sakho's done well, but he looked clumsy last week, and he didn't play well against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. (JAceKopite16)

-The "weakened side" will probably turn out to be a "not completely first choice side" considering all of Chelsea's injuries and suspensions.  It's also a quote designed to put the pressure on Liverpool, as that's seemingly Mourinho's only trick behind a microphone, and, as BR retorted, whatever side Chelsea put out will certainly cost way more than Liverpool's 11. (Matt)

-It'll be fascinating to see if Mourinho puts on the full bus parking treatment or not.  I mean...they kind of need to win don't they? (Matt)

-Sturridge's injury raises some selection issues (my guess is he's on the bench, if anything), but Hendo's absence is the real painful one.  The midfielder has truly been LFC's unsung hero this season and his stupid tackle late against City continues to cost us. (Matt)

-So, building off that (and taking a quick sneak at some comments below that beat my thoughts), I think we'll see an identical side to last week.  I'll disagree though with Bama, a rare occurrence it should be said, in that I'd prefer Lucas to Aspas's headless chicken dance.  Lucas hasn't gotten back to pre-injury form, but I hope he can be useful busting up Chelsea's counter threat. (Matt)