CL Teams: Liverpool v Chelsea

UEFA Champions League, QF 1st leg, Kick-off 7.45pm BST

Yet another Champions League tie for the Reds against Chelsea kicks off with tonight’s first leg at Anfield. This will be the ninth time that the two sides have met in this competition since Rafael Benitez became Liverpool boss. And Chelsea are now on their fourth manager since Rafa arrived.

Rafa has picked what is almost his first-choice side, as much as Rafa has a first-choice side, with Torres and Gerrard part of the front four with Riera and Kuyt.

One choice he would have made differently is as to who lines up alongside Xabi Alonso in midfield. The suspended Mascherano is replaced by Lucas.

Carragher and Skrtel are at the back with Arbeloa and Aurelio as tonight’s full-backs. Yossi Benayoun is on the bench again if needed – as is Andrea Dossena, another of Liverpool’s recent scoring subs.

Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio, Lucas, Alonso, Riera, Kuyt, Gerrard, Torres.
Subs: Cavalieri, Dossena, Hyypia, Agger, Benayoun, Babel, Ngog.

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Alex, Ashley Cole, Kalou, Ballack, Essien, Lampard, Malouda, Drogba.
Subs: Hilario, Carvalho, Belletti, Mancienne, Mikel, Deco, Anelka.

7 thoughts on “CL Teams: Liverpool v Chelsea”

  1. Admittedly the better team one on the night.

    Clearly we missed the Monster. To his credit, Lucas is a very smooth and precise passer of the ball and was doing his best. However he still lacks the presence and stature to control or even have a substantial impact on a game against a big team even if it was at home.

    I found myself wondering if Agger should have started tonight (Skrtel has been huge for us this season but sometimes I think that we need an extra dimension at centre back)?

    Anyway, it’ll be tough to go through but NOT impossible. I’m certainly not conceding defeat. It’ll need one hell of a performance though.

    “Take it to the bridge!”

  2. Aint zonal marking great. Soft, soft goals in a massive game.

    Lucas looked lost. He is nowhere near up to standard.

    Didnt think we were hammered but we looked tired and lightwieght in the middle. Its also evident that we have a severe lack of options and could not change anything on the pitch formation wise due to a very weak bench.

    And with Rafa up to his old tricks, namely chasing a goal in a quarter final and replacing a left back with….another left back, what chance did we really have on coming back.

    By no means over but i think if the Mancs drop points this weekend then we should fully concentrate on the league and maybe field a weaker side for the next leg and save our best players for the Prem.

    A blip in form was due. I agree that the two centre backs looked tired and maybe Agger needs a run in the team.

    But ultimately the two headers we conceded were very weak, disapointing goals that we should be able to defend against.

  3. I’m pretty sure we had zonal marking against Man United (4-1), Real Madrid (4-0) and Aston Villa (5-0) and in beating Chelsea twice before last night?!

    Chelsea played well – and won from two set-pieces and one very good goal. Sometimes you just have to hold your hand-up and amit you were beaten by the better side on the night.

    Rafa’s proven himself in Europe – which probably adds to the surprise of the defeat. He’ll now be looking at a response for the game against Blackburn who are fighting for their lives. I hope we get it – though this season has been so strange for all the teams in the EPL, we can only expect a few more surprises this weekend……but hopefully not at Anfield.

  4. @ midlands the third goal was good but it was offside.

    @Cantos please stop criticizing rafa its like you always prey for us to lose so you can get at him, were as after the games of manur, R Madrid and Villa you just said well it was a good performance. And please give us a valid option who you would get instead of Rafa. One that is affordable and that cam deliver the PL with the shity budget Rafa works with. I m not bothered at all with yesterdays defeat we have to chose is we are to have a go at the PL or CL we cant compete on two fronts and now we cant choose so lets give the PL a go and when we play Chelsea well see.

  5. Malta. Im not criticizing him. I am merely saying that his decision to bring on a left back for a left back when we were chasing a goal seems to me a little strange.

    We have had a great four weeks and Rafa has been great, picked good sides and made some super decisions, but yesterday with regards to his subs, he got it wrong.

    I dont think its over. If we can score 4 at Old Tradgic then we can certainly get 3 at the bridge. An early goal would cause a great deal of panic.

    I have a feeling we will win the League. I think that Sunderland may well scab a draw on Saturady. If utd do drop points then we have got to concentrate on the league and not risk anything at the bridge.

    Now he has signed i do not want a replacement for Rafa. He has made some massive mistakes this season, which may well cost us the prize, however, over the last month he has come to his senses abit and played his strongest 11 and made some great subs. He has showed that if he lets his stubborn side fade then he can do well.

    Lets win the league….together!

  6. The return match is certainly not an impossibility for us:

    Forget about 3-0, although if we get that, that’s fine (but see below).

    The score-line we should be aiming for is 4-2, to us, which would then give us the match on the away-goals rule (and is not as good a result as we got at ManU):

    If we can score 2 goals in the first half, without reply, they then have to change tactics and go for a goal, to avoid 3-0.
    That makes the match more open and we can afford to tie the 2nd half 2-2 (and remember, they’re missing John Terry).

    I don’t mean to make it sound too easy but I really think it’s almost ‘job done’ if we can just get the first two goals. The worst thing we could do is get 3 goals (unlikely, without them also scoring) and then sit back and defend.

    They’re going to score a goal or two; so we must set our sights on scoring 4.

    Of course, there are a number of other ways of ending up 4-2, to us, but doesn’t 4-2 sound much less difficult than 3-0, if we can force an open game?

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