Chelsea – Liverpool Match Preview
Even if Chelsea’s away goal will only take effect after extra time, a 0-0 draw after 120 minutes would see the Blues through to the final, it hard to believe that there will not be any goals in this match. This bizarre ruling can’t really be food for thought for Chelsea, especially after crashing out of the FA Cup in an embarrassing 2-4 defeat against Bradford City, but their strength in depth could make a difference if the tie goes to extra time. One thing is certain, the blues can’t afford another appalling performance and Liverpool will be wary of a Chelsea backlash after what Jose Mourinho claimed was without doubt the worst defeat of his managerial career. The Portuguese manager is renowned for his ability to manage in these one-off matches against strong opposition though, and while this leg is unlikely to follow the same pattern as the first, don’t be surprised if Liverpool see a lot of the ball again at Stamford Bridge. Liverpool struggled in their own FA Cup match but did manage to obtain a replay against Bolton, and would love to take a high profile scalp such as Chelsea’s. Jose Mourinho is likely to make one change from the first leg in Liverpool, with Oscar set to come in for John Obi Mikel in a more attacking line-up as the Nigerian suffered a head injury at the weekend and is a doubt for Tuesday’s tie. Thibaut Courtois will return in goal, as will the likes of Terry, Ivanovic, Matic and Costa who all rested at the weekend. Brendan Rodgers will likely field the same side that will consider themselves unfortunate not to have won the first leg between these two but Daniel Sturridge could be in contention for a return against his former club but more probably as an impact sub if the game remains in the balance. Joe Allen and Glen Johnson are also back fit and Brendan Rodgers has most of his first team players back available.
Our Probable Formations:
Chelsea (188.8.131.52) Courtois, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Luis, Matic, Fabregas, Willian, Oscar, Hazard and Costa.
Liverpool (3.4.3) Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Sakha, Markovic, Lucas Leiva, Henderson Moreno, Gerrard, Sterling and Coutinho.
The Best Tipster says:
Chelsea have lost only 2 of their last 12 matches in all competitions.
Chelsea are unbeaten against Liverpool in 6 matches, winning 3 in a row, before last week’s draw.
Liverpool’s previous 4 matches have swung over 2.5 goals.
Diego Costa and Eden Hazard have scored 18 and 12 goals respectively this so far this season and both have already fired past Simon Mignolet this season and look good value bets at 11/10 and 11/8 to do so again.