Preview: Chelsea vs. Liverpool
Fourth-place Chelsea hosts sixth-place Liverpool on Sunday, as the Blues return to Stamford Bridge for the first time since their 5-3 thrashing at the hands of Arsenal three weeks ago. Here are five notes for the Fernando Torres derby:
• Between Torres, Raul Meireles and Jose Bosingwa, Liverpool's last seven league goals against Chelsea have all been scored by players who currently play for Chelsea. Torres has five of the seven, and Bosingwa's own goal accounts for another. Dirk Kuyt is the last current Liverpool player with a league score against the Blues, in a 2-0 win at Anfield in January 2007.
• Welshman Craig Bellamy is the sole current Liverpool player to score a Premier League goal at Stamford Bridge, and he did it with Manchester City in February of last year. Bellamy has five career league goals at Stamford Bridge, scoring with Man City, Blackburn and West Ham. His five Premier League strikes as an opponent there are tied with Robin van Persie for most by any player.
• Liverpool swept Chelsea last season, winning 2-0 at Anfield and 1-0 on the road, thanks to a Meireles goal. The Reds haven't beaten Chelsea three straight times since 1989-90. Despite winning 1-0 at Stamford Bridge in two of the past three seasons, Liverpool has won only three of its past 21 league meetings there since 1991.
• Chelsea won 1-0 at Blackburn in its last outing, ending a nine-game run without a league shutout -- the team's longest such stretch in eight years. The Blues have an active streak of seven league home matches without a clean sheet, their worst run since 2000. Chelsea last went eight league home games without a shutout in 1996.
• But a clean sheet still looms as a possibility. Liverpool has posted 2-0 shutouts in three of its five away games this season -- including its past two outings, against West Brom and Everton. Liverpool's last three-game road win streak in league play was three seasons ago. Liverpool has been held scoreless in its other two away matches this season, by Stoke City and Tottenham, and the four goals allowed at White Hart Lane were Liverpool's most away goals allowed in eight seasons.