Chelsea are at home to Liverpool for the second time in nine days on Tuesday, hoping to avenge the disappointing 2-1 defeat in which Glen Johnson’s late strike sealed the three points for the Reds from Merseyside. This game has cup progress, rather than points, riding on it and it is of course extremely likely that both club’s will field fairly different line-ups in aiming to reach the Semi Finals of the Carling Cup, which is of course wholly looked up as the fourth and least most important competition. Kenny Dalglish was even seen advising Liverpool fans not to travel to the Bridge and has promised to put out a weakened side, mainly in protest at how the game will be played little over 48 hours after their important Premiership clash at home to runaway leaders Man City, a game in which they drew 1 all.
Liverpool currently sit two points and one place below us in the league, and we will be looking to kick on from our impressive 3-0 win over Wolves at the weekend, where we won for the first time in three games following two disappointing defeats. That victory lifted the pressure off Andre somewhat, after some sections of the media revelled in his recent anguish. His assistant Di Matteo has also pledged his commitment to the cause, following rumours he was due to depart his post.
Chelsea have used makeshift sides in the carling Cup so far, where we have beaten Fulham on penalties and Everton 2-1 after extra time. A similair line up is likely here, while youngsters Romeu, after his impressive performance Saturday, McEachran, who’s been sparsely used this season and Bertrand, who performed well at Goodison in the last round, will be hoping to start. John Terry is suspended after his fifth domestic booking on Saturday, meaning Alex, Luiz and Ivanovic will battle it out for the two centre back slots. Fernando Torres will hope to start against his former club, having begun on the bench for the last four games. Fringe players such as Kalou, Anelka and Ferreira will hoping to get some minutes under their belts having not played much of late, whilst Mata and Sturridge, two of our most in form players at the moment, could be rested. Turnbull may replace Cech in goal.
We have faced Liverpool twice recently in this competition. A 2-0 win, courtesy of goals from Frank Lampard and Andriy Shevchenko, at this stage four years ago set us on the way to the 2008 final where we lost to Tottenham. We of course beat Liverpool in the final in Cardiff in 2005, in a game famous for Steven Gerrard’s own goal at a time when he was linked with the Blues and Jose Mourinho’s ssh gesture to the Liverpool faithful and subsequent sending to the stands. That cup win, Jose’s first of many trophies at the helm, was seen as the catalyst to future success, proving this competition can have some significance. Can Andre go all the way in this competition and then benefit in the future in a similar vein?
In the rounds other ties, Arsenal, who came so close to winning this competition last season before losing the final to Birmingham, host Man City and Cardiff face Birmingham. Man United are at home to Crystal Palace on Wednesday.