Eden Hazard’s 29th minute strike was enough to see Chelsea beat Swansea City, and secure a fifth win in seven league games for Jose Mourinho’s men.
The Blues remain two points off the top of the Premier League after Arsenal moved back into first place following a 3-1 win over West Ham United.
Manchester City are second, a point behind the Gunners and ahead of the Blues after a 2-1 win over Liverpool, who slip to fourth while fifth place Everton stay fifth after a shock defeat to bottom of the table Sunderland.
Chelsea now turn their attention to Sunday afternoon’s match against Liverpool, a side who they have beaten just twice in their last thirteen clashes in the league.
Ramires will miss the game through suspension after picking up a fifth yellow card of the season in the Boxing Day victory over Swansea.
Mourinho is likely to continue rotating his squad, with Cesar Azpilicueta expected to be recalled in place of Ashley Cole at left-back, while Fernando Torres could also return to the starting line-up.
This will be the first meeting between the sides since the 2-2 draw at Anfield back in April – the game where Branislav Ivanovic was bitten by Luis Suarez.
Tags: Arsenal, Ashley Cole, Branislav Ivanovic, Cesar Azpilicueta, Eden Hazard, Everton, Fernando Torres, Liverpool, Luis Suarez, Manchester City, Ramires, Swansea City
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is likely to rotate his squad for this afternoon’s game against Swansea City with Sunday’s clash with Liverpool in mind.
Ashley Cole could be recalled at left-back, while Michael Essien is available after serving a one-match suspension.
The Blues are currently in fourth place, and sit two points behind leaders Liverpool, who themselves face third place Manchester City this evening while second place Arsenal travel to West Ham United.
Anything other than three points for Chelsea may could see the slip out of the top four with Everton hot on their heels.
Meanwhile, Mourinho is lining up a £48m move for Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain, according to the Mirror.
The pair worked together for three years at Real Madrid before both moved on to pastures new in the summer.
The Argentina international has been in fine form since joining Rafael Benitez’s side, scoring thirteen goals in twenty-one appearances in all competitions.
However, the Serie A side are reportedly willing to do business as it would secure them a quick profit of around £13.5m.
Only Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi scored more goals than the 26 year old during qualification for next summer’s World Cup finals, and will be keen to continue impressing with the tournament in Brazil fast approaching.
Tags: Arsenal, Ashley Cole, Everton, Gonzalo Higuain, Lionel Messi, Liverpool, Luis Suarez, Manchester, Michael Essien, Napoli, Swansea City
Branislav Ivanovic is set to return to the Chelsea line-up for this evening’s top of the table clash with Arsenal.
Cesar Azpilicueta is likely to switch to left back, with Ashley Cole dropping to the bench while Michael Essien will miss the game after collecting his fifth yellow card of the season in the League Cup quarter final defeat to Sunderland last Tuesday evening.
Victory for the Blues will see them leapfrog the Gunners, while only an unlikely win by seven or more goals will see them finish the evening in first place.
Jose Mourinho’s men follow this evening’s game with home fixtures against Swansea City and Liverpool before travelling to Southampton on New Year’s Day.
Manchester City are currently favourites to reclaim the Premier League title, with Chelsea second favourites and Arsenal third.
Meanwhile, the club have been alerted to reports that Porto striker Jackson Martinez has failed to agree a new deal.
Mourinho has been linked with a move for a new striker in recent weeks as his current front line continue to misfire, with Martinez one of a number of names linked with a switch to Stamford Bridge.
The Colombia international has 47 goals in 65 games since moving to Porto last year.
Tags: Arsenal, Ashley Cole, Branislav Ivanovic, Cesar Azpilicueta, Jackson Martinez, Liverpool, Manchester City, Michael Essien, Porto, Southampton, Swansea City