Jose Mourinho jokingly hope for a ‘little injury’ to Luis Suarez ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League clash against Liverpool on Sunday at Stamford Bridge.
The Uruguayan forward has been exceptional so far this season and has already scored 19 goals in 13 Premier League games – which is two more than the 17 league goals Fernando Torres has scored since January 2011.
Chelsea have kept clean sheets in their past two matches and will need to keep their fine defensive form against Suarez and co, but as the home side the initiative is on them and the lack of killer instinct in front of goal is a constant frustration for the manager, fans and the team. Mourinho knows his side would be top of the tree if he had a Suarez or Sergio Aguero of his own.
Brazilian midfielder Ramires will be suspended for the match after picking up his fifth booking of the season against Swansea on Boxing Day and Mourinho is likely to rotate his pack elsewhere, so Cesar Azpilicueta could return in place of Ashley Cole and Torres may also expect to start – especially after Samuel Eto’o spurned a couple of good opportunities in the last match.
Liverpool will be without Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge and Luis Enrique so are missing a few of their key players, whilst Jon Flanagan is also suffering with a hamstring injury and isn’t expected to feature for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Predicted Chelsea XI:
B. Ivanovic – G. Cahill – J. Terry (c) – C. Azpilicueta
J. Mikel – F. Lampard
Willian – Oscar – E. Hazard
Even though I’m not his biggest fan I would prefer for Mourinho to stick with David Luiz in the defence as I believe him to be a much better defender, and all round player, than Gary Cahill but reckon the England man will return to the line-up.
Not entirely keen on the John Obi Mikel and Frank Lampard combination in midfield. It is a little slow, lacking in creativity, and Mourinho may feel like he’s forced to select them but I don’t see why Oscar couldn’t be given a go there.
The attacking midfielders played well against Swansea but will be frustrated that the chances created were wasted. We have so many of them that it’s hard to guess what the manager will go for in this area of the field.
Torres will probably start up front. The Spaniard is never going to be a hit at Stamford Bridge. Never. However, it would be highly amusing if he could nick a goal against his old side.