Chelsea’s trip to Anfield this weekend is the pick of the Premier League fixtures as Liverpool can take one step closer to the Premier League title.
Jose Mourinho has reportedly adopted a defeatist attitude towards the game, which could see him protect key players ahead of the Champions League semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid next week.
Whichever side Mourinho goes with, there are likely to be key battles breaking out all over the pitch which will have a say on who walks away with the three points.
Here are five to look out for.
Simon Mignolet v Mark Schwarzer
The battle between the goalkeepers is going to be an important one and the Belgian will have the edge as he’s played more football this season.
However, Schwarzer was superb when he was called upon earlier this week to replace Petr Cech in the Champions League. The pressure and the hostility in Anfield won’t phase him in the slightest.
Jon Flanagan v Andre Schurrle
Chelsea’s German attacker could start on the right hand side of midfield, which means he’ll be up against Flanagan, likely to start at left-back.
Some very experienced and talented players have tried to get the better of the Liverpool full-back this season, failing in the process. It’ll be interesting to see whether Schurrle wants to take him on or whether he tries to drag him out of position.
Martin Skrtel v Demba Ba
A rare start for Demba Ba means a difficult test against one of the toughest centre-backs in the Premier League.
Skrtel works very hard to impose himself on the opposition striker and he won’t give Ba an inch if the Chelsea forward looks to get in behind or presses him at set pieces throughout the game.
Steven Gerrard v Nemanja Matic
Matic will play because he’s ineligible for the Champions League and his job is to stop Liverpool’s captain.
The Chelsea man is more than capable of making it difficult for Gerrard to influence the game because he’s quite literally huge. However, Matic has proven to be a much subtler player than a straight up enforcer this season.
Luis Suarez v David Luiz
Expect to see Suarez at his slippery and skilful best.
With John Terry injured, Mourinho could ask Luiz to drop into the heart of the back four, which means Suarez will drift onto that side and look to exploit the Brazilian’s temper, forcing a mistake.