Chelsea suffered another blow overnight with Ricardo Carvalho ruled out of their vital Premiership clash with Liverpool at Anfield due to a high temperature.
The absence of the Portuguese came with Chelsea still unable to call on captain and centre-back John Terry. Ashley Cole returned after suspension while Claude Makelele was side-lined with a ban of his own.
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Blues manager Jose Mourinho opted for Petr Cech in goal, who was allowed to wear a rugby-style headguard in his first match since fracturing his skull at Reading in October.
For Liverpool, John Arne Riise returned at full-back with Daniel Agger preferred in the centre ahead of Sami Hyypia. Craig Bellamy was the unlucky striker left on the bench, with Peter Crouch and Dirk Kuyt up front.
Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Agger, Riise, Pennant, Gerrard, Alonso, Aurelio, Crouch, Kuyt.
Subs: Dudek, Hyypia, Fowler, Gonzalez, Bellamy.
Chelsea: Cech, Geremi, Ferreira, Essien, Ashley Cole, Lampard, Ballack, Mikel, Robben, Drogba, Kalou.
Subs: Hilario, Shevchenko, Diarra, Wright-Phillips, Morais.