Chelsea will look to get back to winning ways as they welcome high-flying Liverpool to Stamford Bridge in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
The Blues come into this game off the back of two disappointing results in a row, following up a humbling defeat against Bayern Munich with an uninspiring 2-2 draw away at Bournemouth.
The FA Cup has so far been a relatively comfortable experience for Frank Lampard, with convincing wins against Championship opposition despite heavy rotation amongst the side.
Liverpool however pose a completely different threat to Chelsea, as the Reds sit on the brink of a first Premier League title in blistering style.
Best time to face Liverpool
However, the Blues may feel it is one of the best times possible to face the champions-elect, who suffered their first league defeat at the weekend in shocking style, with Watford coming out 3-0 winners.
Jurgen Klopp has made it no secret that he has used the domestic cup competitions to rest his key players, with the punishing fixture list bringing great demands on the European champions.
This rotation had been seen in prior rounds, with a second-string side getting the better of local rivals Everton before scraping past Shrewsbury following a replay at Anfield.
Blues without key men
Chelsea remain without a number of key players due to injury which may limit the capacity they are allowed to experiment with their squad selection.
N’golo Kante, Christian Pulisic, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi all remain out of the question for Lampard, as the casualties begin to stack up as crunch time approaches this season.
The fixture however presents a chance for the Stamford Bridge faithful to welcome Ruben Loftus-Cheek back to first team football. The England international is yet to taste match action under his new boss following his unfortunate injury in Chelsea’s regrettable publicity stunt in the United States nearly a year ago.
The tie also brings an opportunity for Kepa Arrizabalaga to be welcomed back in from the cold following his shaky season so far. Willy Caballero has been between the sticks for the last six games now, with the world record value goalkeeper currently paying for a string of poor performances.
A potential catalyst for the Blues
Lampard will be keen to advance in the competition which he won four times as a player, scoring the winning goal in the 2009 final against Everton.
The Chelsea boss would become the 18th manager to win the FA Cup as a player and as a manager.
With a number of winnable yet vital league games to come in upcoming weeks, a kick-start into form domestically could be the catalyst for the Blues holding off the chasing pack for Champions League football next season.