Chelsea v Liverpool preview

by Mystical Mike

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Come back kings?

The pilgrimage to Rome for the Champions League final looks uncertain for Liverpudlians, unless their team can create some magic over Chelsea tonight. Last week’s 3-1 thrashing in front of their home crowd means that the semi-finals look like a distant dream unless the reds can get revenge in Chelsea’s back yard tonight.

Two goals from Branislav Ivanovic in only his second Champions League appearance and another goal from Didier Drogba was met only by Fernando Torres’ early strike leaving Anfield stunned in the first leg last week.

As the teams meet for the tenth time in the fifth consecutive season in the competition, the reds now face the most challenging match of the season as they have to score at least three goals to retain their place in the competition.
The task is tough and the odds are against them as they have failed to hit the back of the net in their three previous Champions League visits to Stamford Bridge and Chelsea have won their last seven home matches in the competition. Despite the odds being stacked against them, Liverpool fans remain positive, as their team are the ‘Kings of Comeback’, especially in this competition. Who can forget the magic that occurred in Istanbul in 2005 when they came back from 3-0 down to lift the cup. They have already done the double over Chelsea in the Premier League and are looking to tonight extending that to a treble. The match also comes a day before the 20th anniversary of football’s greatest disaster, Hillsborough, so the players are determined to get a result for the sake of their fans.

The team sheet appears to be in Liverpool’s favour as skipper Steven Gerrard looks certain to start after overcoming his groin injury he picked up last week. Chelsea skipper John Terry is out after receiving a yellow card at Anfield.  However, Chelsea are having a great run under their new, if only temporary, manager Guus Hiddink. They will also undoubtedly have a strong desire to get back to the European Championship final after the disappointment of last season when they were within one kick of winning the trophy. With the Premier League title slipping out of their reach, they will be even more determined to pick up some silverware this season.

As the well worn football cliché goes, it is a game of two halves and Liverpool are not out of the competition yet. It’s never easy to predict what will happen in a football match, but this one is likely have its final outcome decided in the first half an hour. If Chelsea score then Liverpool’s task becomes almost impossible. If Liverpool score then Chelsea will need to keep their nerve. For the neutral supporter, a goal by Liverpool would turn it into a real nail biter – one of those nights that only the Champions League can magic up!

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  • rob pullinger

    Fantastic preview Elizabeth!!!!!!!!!, hope you are correct, i have fingers crossed for the reds…..

  • Darren

    excellent preview, there’s a new Gabby in town! We all love stats and this article is full of them

    I’m going for a 2-1 Chelsea win, they are playing to well to slip up, although Bolton were unlucky, best piece of Sky commentary ever, Paul Merson was nearly wetting himself!

  • Dexylongshot

    Saw Merson wetting his whack when a Bolton shot was cleared of the mine in the last minute on Sat, excellent stuff*

    Would love to see Liverpool get a goal or two early on, could be a real livener, unfortunately, don’t think it will be unless The scousers really go gung ho and drop Alonso or Mash & start with Babel or Yossi.

    PS* Taylor on the scoresheet again Fabio.

  • Stevie

    surely not!! Chelsea are pooing themselves!!

  • Darren

    what a game! the best game in years. Full credit to Liverpool for their effort. It’s a shame they will end up trophyless!

  • Tef1on

    Why do they keep going on about this epic half time team talk? Now im not going to take anything away from the chavs but Liverpool were far the better team at the start of the second half, Chelsea scored a lucky goal and then suddenly Liverpool were chasing the game even more and throwing people forward.

    2nd goal was a fantastic free kick which was unstoppable but yet again what the hell has this got to do with a team talk? From then on Liverpool were 100% attack.

    So Liverpool undid themselves by a silly mistake by Reina after that they were chasing the game even more and suffered from it… So why was this team talk so important that the guys on the TV keep going on about it.

    But have to say the ref got the penalty spot on and i wish more would grow some balls and give those more often.

    Just a shame Torres didn’t show up… if he did Liverpool may just have won that!

  • Tef1on

    And also If the Chavs defend like that against Barce… they will get stuffed, Without Cashly C*%tly Cole to deal with Messi also… Big worries for them

  • Darren

    Liverpool get away with murder especially Jamie Garragher, he’s always pulling forwards shirts, but you’re right, spot on to the ref.

    It’s tough one to call you know, Barca are brilliant forward but can their defenders handle Drogba who is like a new signing for them.

    One thing’s for sure, Cech is having a mare. Bring on the FA Cup semi! Come on you Gunners!!

  • Sam

    What a crazy crazy game!!! Can only hope United are a bit more sensible and make it comfortably tonite, but something tells me it won’t be that easy…

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