Liverpool Vs Chelsea 11 Things You Need To Know About The Capital One Cup Clash
Liverpool will be looking to get one over on Jose Mourinho”s Chelsea this week, as the two sides meet in the first of this week”s Capital One Cup semi-finals.
With Tottenham or Sheffield United set to await the victor at Wembley, both sides will know that they can take a massive step towards the season”s first piece of silverware this week.
Of course, the semis are a two-legged affair and, unlike the FA Cup, away goals only come into effect after the end of extra time following the second tie – assuming of course that the scores are level after 180 minutes of football.
Liverpool vs Chelsea: Goals scored, last five meetings
But let”s not get too far ahead of ourselves.
Brendan Rodgers” side haven”t had the best of luck against Chelsea in recent meetings – notably their title challenge came crashing down last season following a 2-0 defeat to the Blues at Anfield.
Here is everything you need to know about Tuesday evening”s Capital One Cup clash!
1. When is the match and where can I see it?
The first leg takes place at Anfield on Tuesday January 20th, with kick-off set for 19:45. It”s scheduled to be shown on Sky Sports 1.
A week later, you can catch the return leg live from Stamford Bridge, on Tuesday January 27th, with kick-off at 19:45. It will again be shown on Sky Sports 1.
If you”re unable to watch the game or just want to get another perspective on the action, make sure to tune in for Mirror Football”s live blog coverage .
2. Team news
Liverpool – Brendan Rodgers will be hoping to have Steven Gerrard fit after his hamstring injury and Mario Balotelli back from a bout of illness. We”re likely to see Emre Can at the back again after his excellent performance at Villa Park.
Chelsea: Jose Mourinho hasn”t had to worry about injuries this season and, other than an illness for Didier Drogba, the only other doubt is Cezar Azpilicueta, whose groin injury has kept him out of the last couple of games.
GettyGrowing impact: Markovic and Can have been bright for Liverpool
3. Predicted sides
Brendan Rodgers will have to manage his squad as he attempts to juggle two domestic cup competitions and a Europa League campaign with that all important Premier League race for top four, although injuries somewhat force his hand in certain positionsh.
Jose Mourinho seems able to name virtually an unchanged team every game this season and, after his players were barely required to break a sweat at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday, will probably do so again.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Sakho, Henderson, Moreno, Lucas, Gerrard, Markovic, Coutinho, Balotelli
Chelsea: Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Filipe Luis, Matic, Fabregas, Willian, Oscar, Hazard, Diego Costa
4. Reasons for Liverpool fans to be optimistic
Their new acquisitions are beginning to bed in lightly and the likes of Emre Can and Lazar Markovic now look like real quality additions to Brendan Rodgers” side
The Reds have really turned around their indifferent league form in the past few weeks and have started moving up the table, getting themselves back in contention for the Champions League places and standing second only to Southampton in the recent form guide
Rodgers says the Kop renaissance has seen Liverpool "regain" their identity and believes the team is now ready to push on to better things in the second half of the season
5. Reasons for Chelsea fans to be optimistic
They have a good recent record against Liverpool (see point. 6), but then Chelsea have a good recent record against just about everyone at the minute
After a bit of a sticky patch over the Christmas period that saw Mourinho”s side surrender their Premier League lead over Manchester City, they”ve restored a buffer over their rivals and are coming back into form – with Oscar, Fabregas and Costa in particular all superb at the weekend against Swansea
They”re still on track for an unprecedented quadruple and will be confident of progressing further in the FA Cup (vs Bradford) and Champions League (vs PSG). The Capital One Cup is where it all began for Mourinho at Chelsea
6. Previous encounters
November 2014 : Liverpool 1-2 Chelsea (Premier League)
April 2014 : Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea (Premier League)
December 2013 : Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool (Premier League)
April 2013 : Liverpool 2-2 Chelsea (Premier League)
November 2012 : Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool (Premier League)
In pictures: Liverpool 1-2 Chelsea from November 8:
7. Recent form
Liverpool”s last five results
January 17 : Aston Villa 0-2 Liverpool (Premier League)
January 10 : Sunderland 0-1 Liverpool (Premier League)
January 5 : Wimbledon 1-2 Liverpool (FA Cup third round)
January 1 : Liverpool 2-2 Leicester (Premier League)
December 29 : Liverpool 4-1 Swansea (Premier League)
Chelsea”s last five results
January 17 : Swansea 0-5 Chelsea (Premier League)
January 10 : Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle (Premier League)
January 4 : Chelsea 3-0 Watford (FA Cup third round)
January 1 : Tottenham 5-3 Chelsea (Premier League)
December 28 : Southampton 1-1 Chelsea (Premier League)
8. Liverpool”s key man
Raheem Sterling – After being rested for a couple of games earlier this month, Raheem Sterling was back in action against Aston Villa. Some of Liverpool”s new signings have been finding form in recent weeks with the likes of Lazar Markovic and Emre Can increasingly looking the part.
But with Daniel Sturridge still injured, Lallana out for both legs with a calf injury and Mario Balotelli still misfiring, Sterling is absolutely crucial to Liverpool”s attacking play.
Brendan Rodgers recognises this and that”s precisely why he gave the youngster a winter break, knowing that they”ll need to rely on the talented youngster heavily in the second half of the season.
GettyDanger man: Sterling has a big role to play after being rested earlier this month
Sterling”s been getting better in front of goal but he needs to prove he can do it against the league”s biggest teams and not just the minnows of cup and league – the 20 year-old can go a big step towards proving that against Chelsea on Tuesday.
9. Chelsea”s key man
Eden Hazard – Against Swansea, Oscar, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas shone most brightly, while Willian could have added a brace to their burgeoning tally had the woodwork not conspired to keep him out.
One player who had a relatively subdued game – by his own high standards – was Eden Hazard. The Belgian has been publicly backed by Jose Mourinho to become the brightest light in a side that is bursting with near luminous stars.
Action ImagesHazard zone: The Belgian can be Chelsea”s star
And he”ll be keen to show just how influential he can be as Chelsea face the first real challenge to their war for trophies on four different fronts.
When he”s at his best, he”s out of this world – but the Belgian still needs to prove he can consistently produce that kind of form. This week, Raheem Sterling said to Sport magazine: "Eden Hazard”s the best player I’ve played against, though. He”s ridiculous."
10. Betting odds
Chelsea are 6/5 favourites for the first leg, while you can get odds of 9/4 on a Liverpool win and a draw is rated at 23/10.
Over 2.5 goals in the game is ranked at 2.5 goals, while Diego Costa is favourite to score at any time (13/10) and to be the first goalscorer (9/2).
For Liverpool, Sterling has odds of 13/2 to be first goalscorer and 21/10 to score anytime.
11. Quotes corner
Brendan Rodgers on Liverpool”s resurgence: "We”ve regained our identity and how the team has played for two years. In the opening four months of the season we were nowhere near where we had been and we had to find a solution. I changed the system and we are now playing very well. We are always trying to improve. That”s the challenge here when you are working with young players – and there is still a lot of improvement left."
Jose Mourinho on the importance of silverware: "I keep saying, and they have to understand, there is no history without titles. So if we play fantastically well but we don’t win cups, then in 20 years’ time nobody will remember this team.
"Obviously, I am the first one who wants the team playing very, very well, but we have to win competitions. And this team is a young team with lots of years in front of them, and we are trying this season. We are going to try to our limits to make some history by winning something."
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