The England winger mentioned that when the Reds get off to a sloppy start, they tend to struggle throughout the entire and called on his teammates to begin at a high-tempo at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
“I think starting games well is the key. When we do start brightly, we tend to get into the lead and win games. But if you start sloppy, Chelsea can punish us,” Downing told Liverpoolfc.tv.
“That is what the manager is drumming into us – to start well at a good pace, get into them and let them know they’re in for a tough game.
” They’re a top team, but I think there are areas there we can exploit. If we can be a bit more ruthless in our play, I think we can get goals at Stamford Bridge.
“It will be a tough game, but you can sense in the atmosphere around the place we’re confident of going there and getting a result.”
Downing is expected to start for the Liverpool the game and could play an important part down the wing.
Meanwhile, influential defender Jamie Carragher could return after he missed the last two matches with a calf injury, while striker Luis Suarez is set to continue his role as the main man in the attack after being rested for Uruguay’s friendly win over Italy in midweek.
Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas is expected to keep his faith with misfiring forward Fernando Torres for the clash.
Didier Drogba has recovered from the arm surgery is also available and he could play in a partnership with Torres and Juan Mata.
Liverpool Squad: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Enrique, Kuyt, Adam, Lucas, Downing, Suarez, Carroll, Doni, Kelly, Skrtel, Coates, Henderson, Spearing, Rodriguez, Bellamy.
Chelsea Squad: Cech, Bosingwa, Ferreira, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Luiz, Mikel, Romeu, Ramires, Lampard, Mata, Malouda, Meireles, McEachran, Torres, Drogba, Kalou, Sturridge, Anelka, Lukaku, Turnbull, Hilario.
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