Okay, both managers have started, mainly Mourinho with his comments saying in short Liverpool have 1 competition to play for while Chelsea have 4 (well 3 more) and this is why Liverpool should be favourites.
Benitez response to this has been Chelsea wants the champs league more than any of the others, and that this will be their priority.
What i think is Mourinho has possibly started to get the excuses in before the match has started. Don’t get me wrong they are all due points, and he is correct, Chelsea were playing 3 games while Liverpool were playing one a week. Its a fact, so if your talking fatigue, its only common sense to suggest players who havent been rested (Frank Lampard, Drogba) arent going to be playing to their full potential.
My view on this is that Chelsea will want this, A LOT. and when you want something alot you have to dig deep inside and grind it out. I dont expect there to be a clear winner in these games, i expect it to be very VERY tight.
I wouldnt expect a great game for the neutral as per Man U vs Milan last night.
As for Liverpool I think they know whats needed to beat Chelsea and they do have the extra edge coming into cup games for some reason. The main player as everyone knows is Gerrard and if he is on song, Liverpool will be as well.
Alonso has spoken about a repeat of 2005, Crouch has insisted Chelsea are favourites. Gerrard has told Mourinho to shut up about THAT goal 2 years ago.
Im not going to speak about it, but it was proven to not have crossed the line, and also many people say Cech would have gone but I’m not so sure because of Baros’s high foot going into the challenge. Here’s a video proving this.
Anyways enough of that it is history.
Im expecting the teams to be pumped. Liverpool could afford to rest Gerrard and some others while Chelseas trip to Newcastle meant they couldnt. Chelsea will very much miss Essien and Ballack, and if Carvalho is out they have a real issue.
When the two teams last met in the league it was a pretty drab affair with Liverpool having the better of play and deserving the win. Chelsea were missing JT back then, and looked very poor at the back. I think it will be the same if Carvalho is missing. He has trained with the team yesterday, so it is a possibility. But if hes ruled out i can only think of one way this tie is going.
Jose has also suggested Liverpool will try and get his players booked (Drogba in particular) so he will miss the second leg. I actually agree with Rafa’s response in saying its exactly what Chelsea did to Alonso 2 years ago. I think Gudjohnson took a dive and the card came out for Alonso. Hey all i can say is, if Drogba did get booked Liverpool will be smiling to the final I think.
This isnt really a preview, im just updating the pre-match hype.
I do think this game will be decided by either a moment of controversy or a moment of brillance. Stevie G and Drogba its your time to shine…..
Bring on the match!!