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Stage set for a cracker.

Byline: Tommy SMITH

THE atmosphere will be sensational at Anfield tomorrow and I fully expect Liverpool to take a step closer to winning the Premier League title.

Chelsea may be our closest challengers but I just can't see them stopping us. With Brendan Rodgers' side in such great form and the Londoners struggling with injuries and suspensions, this game has come at the right time for us.

Whether Jose Mourinho plays the strongest team he has available or not, I just think our attacking threat will be too much for Chelsea to handle.

We've got Daniel Sturridge back after a hamstring injury and I really hope he starts.

Sturridge has a point to prove against his former club. He wasn't given much of a chance in the capital and a succession of managers there weren't able to get the best out of him. He was wasted playing out wide. The PS12million we paid for Sturridge now looks like an absolute bargain. He has proved himself to be a top class striker and his performances for Liverpool has guaranteed his place in the England team for the World Cup in Brazil.

Chelsea made a big mistake letting him go and I've got a feeling he's going to remind them of that on Sunday. Sturridge has only faced Chelsea once since he left and that was at Anfield last season when he scored within minutes of coming on. He is flourishing at a club where he knows the manager really believes in him and the fans appreciate his talents.

If Chelsea just come and defend like they did against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semi-final this week then we may need to be patient.

But with Luis Suarez, Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling flying at them I can't see the Londoners holding out for 90 minutes.

We were unlucky to lose at Stamford Bridge back in December but that was without Sturridge and Steven Gerrard. We're a much stronger side now. The opening period of the game is going to be vital tomorrow.

With the fans behind them, the atmosphere is going to be electric and I hope the players take the initiative from the first whistle.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 26, 2014
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