Liverpool face Chelsea in the second leg of the League Cup tie at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night and the Reds need a victory to progress through to the finals. The tie is now evenly poised after the first leg ending 1-1 at Anfield, and although Chelsea have the home advantage, Liverpool certainly have the fire-power to cause another major upset.
Chelsea suffered a shock 4-2 defeat against Bradford City on Saturday that saw them getting knocked out of the FA Cup. Another defeat tomorrow will see them missing out on the opportunity to win treble this season.
Brendan Rodgers has few important decisions to make – a) Steven Gerrard is certain to return having been rested in the last match, but who will he replace in the starting lineup? Coutinho & Markovic are enjoying the form of life, and dropping either of them could hamper Liverpool’s attacking unit.
Will he drop Glen Johnson to the bench? It seems a logical option, but given it’s an away game, and especially against Chelsea, Rodgers could be tempted to go with a bit defensive protection to prevent Eden Hazard exercising authority in the game down the flanks. In that case, Liverpool’s formation could be like this:
Another possible option is with starting Markovic on the right hand side and entrust him with defensive duties. Liverpool need goals in the match and the best possible way to put Chelsea on the back foot is by going on the attack at every possible opportunity. Liverpool produced one of the best attacking performances of the season against Chelsea in the first leg at Anfield, and if they can deliver a similar sort of effort, it should be a fascinating contest.
Rodgers also confirmed that b) Daniel Sturridge has returned to full training but will he risk him for this match? He should be in the squad and could come on as a substitute later on.
Prediction: Big matches are hard to predict. Especially, in cup games. Can Liverpool cause an upset? Let me know your thoughts.