Hodgson hopeful Cole will win fitness race to face Chelsea

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With Liverpool welcoming Chelsea to Anfield on Sunday, Roy Hodgson knows he needs every possible option if his side are to beat the Premier League Champions.

Cole suffered a hamstring injury as Liverpool laboured to a 1-0 victory over Bolton last weekend and the early prognosis suggested Cole would spend the next fortnight on the sidelines.

But Hodgson has not ruled out Cole playing a part against his former club, suggesting the injury is not as bad as first feared.

“I would say it’s a week to 10-day injury,” said Hodgson. The scan was positive in that it’s a very minor tear he has, but you can’t really put a definite date on how long that tear is going to take to repair.”

Liverpool face Napoli at Anfield on Thursday night and with Group K being so tight, Hodgson needs his side to win if they are to harbour dreams of qualification – they are 5/6 to beat Napoli.

A win would stretch Liverpool’s winning run to three games and will surely increase the hype surrounding the Chelsea match.

But Liverpool’s performances of late continue to be dire and the Premier League champions are 1/1 to go to Anfield and win.

With the Premier League also being so tight, a defeat for Liverpool could see them back around the relegation zone after jumping up to 12th in the table last weekend.

Despite Liverpool now being available at 33/1 to be relegated, with tough away trips to Stoke and Wigan coming up (they haven’t won at either ground in the past two years) Hodgson could find his side back in the relegation zone soon.

Joe Cole will be eager to prove his former club wrong for allowing him to leave and Liverpool are 11/4 to beat Chelsea. See the full Barclays Premier League football betting odds here.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.