Liverpool and Chelsea met a week ago at Anfield in what was an entertaining display from Liverpool. Chelsea although etched out a draw and got the crucial away goal too. With 1-1 after the first leg, there is everything to play for at the Bridge.
Liverpool (3-4-3) : For Liverpool fans its good news. Daniel Sturridge finally seems to be on his way to a comeback after a substantial injury layoff. Brendan Rodger’s has said that Daniel is in his final rehabilitation phase and could be in the running to start against Chelsea. Although it seems that Sturridge won’t be risked in this game and could make it to the squad against West Ham.
The line-up could be : Mignolet, Sakho, Can, Skrtel, Moreno, Lucas, Markovic, Henderson, Gerrard, Sterling, Coutinho.
Chelsea(4-2-3-1) : For Chelsea we might finally get to see Oscar start the game as Mikel looked a bit shaky the last week against the Reds. Oscar would also add to the attacking dynamism of Chelsea. We might also get to see Cesar Azpilicueta start the game for the Blues.
This is how they could line up : Courtois, Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic, Fabregas, Matic, Willian, Oscar, Hazard, Costa.
The two sides are coming into this one with mixed feelings, while Chelsea are disappointed to be knocked out of the FA Cup, Liverpool would be happy to be alive and in with a chance in the FA Cup with most big boys out.
Jose Mourinho said, “The next game is the most important one.We need to forget this one (Bradford) and start the next game in a different competition, and I know we are one victory away from playing a final.”
“It’s the good thing about playing consecutive matches without many days in between. It’s the good thing that, when you lose, you have to focus immediately on the next game.”
“You don’t have a lot of time to be moaning or analysing what happened in the bad one. Let’s move and let’s think about the next one.”
On the other hand Brendan Rodgers said , “Chelsea had a tough result at weekend but they are an outstanding team. They are dangerous.”
He remarked,”Confidence is high. We certainly won’t underestimate Chelsea, but our form and resilience is getting better.”
Can vs Hazard: The last week when these two sides met, Hazard had no problems by passing the wing back and ultimately dragging Can in uncomfortable positions , paving way for people like Fabregas to attack the penalty area. The scenario ultimately resulted in an untidy challenge and a penalty for Chelsea. It would be interesting to see if Can has learnt from his mistakes and how well the wing back can assist him keep Hazard at bay.
Costa vs Skrtel : In the previous meeting between the two sides, Costa was kept relatively quiet . It was good work from Skrtel who along with Lucas was physically imposing on the Spanish forward. Costa ended the game with 0 key passes and 0 shots on goal. A similar performance could see Chelsea out of the league cup.
- Last time the two sides met at Stamford Bridge was 29TH December 2013. Chelsea won 2-1
- When the two teams last met in the League Cup (November 2011) Liverpool beat Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.
- Liverpool haven’t won any of their last 6 encounters with Chelsea.
- Liverpool have won their last 4 League Cup Semi-Finals and 10 of the last 12.
Daniel Sturridge is coming back after a long injury lay off and if he does make it to the starting eleven , it would be interesting to see who would make way. He would also need time to settle down and may not hit the ground running. While Chelsea may look to go at it hammer and tongs with a very impressive home defensive record. This game should end 2-1 to Chelsea.
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