LONDON - Chelsea will be hoping to steal a march on their rivals at the top of the Premier League by beating an out of form Liverpool side at Anfield on Saturday.
Victory for Jose Mourinho's side would take them seven points clear of Southampton - and nine ahead of Manchester City - before the others have even kicked a ball.
But Chelsea will be wary of a Liverpool backlash after last season's 2-0 smash and grab win at Anfield, on a day when they frustrated the home side by slowing down play and took advantage of Liverpool mistakes to earn victory.
That contest was a key factor in Manchester City edging Liverpool, with Chelsea third, in the title race.
But this time round it is the London side riding high at the top.
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Mourinho openly questioned Liverpool's policy in mid-week of playing a weakened team in a Champions League defeat at Real Madrid.
But the Portuguese will be focused on his own team, with Diego Costa and Oscar likely to start, after coming off the bench in their Wednesday draw at Maribor.
Liverpool have been suffering a hangover after last season's near miss, while the loss of Luis Suarez to Barcelona and the absence of Daniel Sturridge have been key factors in their slow start.
But midfielder Joe Allen said Liverpool would be in the mood for revenge when the two sides meet.
"Sometimes you feel you almost owe them one," he said. "It was a big disappointment when they came and took three points off us, so it is a case of wanting to pay them back a bit."But you can't focus too much on last season."
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