The tactical message Brendan Rodgers will send out to his players ahead of Liverpool's eagerly anticipated showdown with Chelsea on Sunday is simple: "We don't change."

Anfield is priming itself to deliver one of the most raucous atmospheres in recent memory when Jose Mourinho returns to Merseyside with a five-point gap to close on the Reds.

Lying in wait for the Blues will be a Liverpool side that has dropped just four points in the Barclays Premier League since New Year's Day and one determined to claim a stunning 12th consecutive win.

It's a side that has made a habit of springing from the traps; Arsenal, Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City have all conceded at least once within 10 minutes of play against Rodgers' side in recent months.

Against Norwich City on Sunday, Raheem Sterling continued the tradition with an early stunner at Carrow Road - and his manager insists there will be no deviation from this tact at Anfield in two days' time.

"We're a team that is very aggressive in our attack," said Rodgers. "I've said it before and I'll repeat it again - I believe the best teams start quick and finish strong.

"I think that was an example of us last weekend [at Norwich]. We started the game well and went 2-0 up. We played some wonderful football, we had a period where we had to show that determination and resilience and by the end we finished strong and saw the game out.

"You have to look at the opponents' strengths and you have to be aware that Chelsea's qualities are on the counter-attack. They have fast players, they will sit deep and they'll block men behind the ball.

"At times they can apply an educated pressure on the ball, but you understand their qualities as more on the counter-attack. So you have to pay attention to that.

"But for us, it's about us playing our own game and the opponent worrying about our strengths and then us ensuring that we're close and we're nice and compact when we haven't got the ball."

When the showpiece clash at Anfield draws to a close on Sunday, the aim for Liverpool is to have opened up an eight-point lead on Chelsea at the Premier League's summit.


Later on in the evening, three of the club's star players will learn if they have been selected as the most recent PFA Player of the Year. Daniel Sturridge, Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez make up half of the six nominations for this year's prestigious prize.

Rodgers confirmed Sturridge will be examined over the coming days to see if he is fit enough to feature against Chelsea after the England international was withdrawn from the Reds' 3-2 win over Manchester City.

All being well, Suarez and Gerrard are set to lock horns with the Blues in front of a baying Anfield audience at the weekend, and Rodgers reserved a word of praise for the duo during his press conference on Friday.

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"Suarez is a brilliant talent," said the manager. "I think the supporters have seen him mature over the course of this last season or so.

"This is a real, real intelligent man, who fits the values of this club, which is about humility and class and he has all of that. I think his development over the course of the last season or so has been remarkable, both on and off the field. Liverpool have benefited from that.

"He'll be rightly in the running [for the PFA prize]. For me, he's been an outstanding player consistently over the course of the last year.

"I look at Steven Gerrard as being up there with him as well because Steven has been brilliant, not just as a captain, but as a player. His game is at a real, real top level as well."