Captain John Terry returns as Chelsea look to get back winning ways in the English Premier League when they host Liverpool on Sunday.
Terry received a four-match ban in September for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers’ defender Anton Ferdinand last season and sat on the bench in their 3-2 Champions League win against Shakhtar on Wednesday.
But the captain should line up this week at Stamford Bridge, in a boost for Chelsea’s beleaguered defence, who have let through 10 goals in his absence from the side.
Liverpool are 12 points behind second-placed Chelsea in 12th position after their worst start to a League season in 101 years – sitting on 11 points from 10 matches.
Manager Brendan Rodgers rested captain Steven Gerrard and top scorer Luis Suarez in the side’s 1-0 loss to Anzhi Makhachkala in the Europa League on Thursday.
Suarez has been a shining light for Liverpool scoring seven goals, more than half of his team’s total, and adding two assists in 10 Premier League games this season.
Rodgers’ squad drew their last League match with Newcastle 1-1 on November 4 and tied 2-2 with Everton the week before after Suarez netted in the 67th minute.
Liverpool defender Glen Johnson returned to full training after missing the side’s last three games and should be available to play this week.
Chelsea drew their last Premier League match with Swansea 1-1 on Saturday and gave up their lead in the Premier League to Manchester United.
Ashley Cole sustained a hamstring injury in the draw and missed Chelsea’s clash with Shakhtar on Wednesday, but could return against Liverpool.
Roberto Di Matteo’s team beat Manchester United in the fourth round of League Cup 5-4 in extra time on October 31 but lost their Premier League match-up against the Red Devils 3-2 three days earlier.
Fernando Torres has not scored against Liverpool since he was sold to Chelsea for 50 million pounds in January 2011, but has netted seven goals this season and will hope to break his drought this week.
The last time these teams met Liverpool beat Chelsea 4-1 in the league in May, after they lost the FA Cup Final to Chelsea 2-1 three days prior.
Liverpool have won three and lost only one of their last five Premier League trips to Stamford Bridge, and Chelsea have not had a clean sheet in their last five League matches.