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Liverpool go for glory against Chelsea again
April 24, 2007 17:41 IST
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has told his team to look to the future rather than dwell on their 2005 victory over Chelsea when the sides meet again in the semi-finals of the Champions League on Wednesday.
Two years ago this week Liverpool drew 0-0 at Stamford Bridge at the same stage of the competition before winning the second leg 1-0 at Anfield with a hotly disputed goal from Luis Garcia after only four minutes' play.
Benitez then saw his team triumph in the final against AC Milan in Istanbul to lift the European Cup for the fifth time in their history. If they beat Chelsea again they will face Milan in the final again if the Italians overcome Manchester United in the other semi-final.
Benitez though, told the club's Web site (www.liverpoolfc.tv) that his team had to forget about 2005.
"It's history it's gone. The history the two clubs will create in the next two meetings is more important than what happened in the past."
He also said his side will go for goals at Stamford Bridge but conceded he did not think there would be many in the tie.
"They have a very good defence and concede less goals now than we do. But 0-0 away from home is not necessarily a good result. We scored goals in Barcelona and our idea is to score at Stamford Bridge and hopefully win."
Liverpool head for London after a routine 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic in the Premier League on Saturday and Benitez reports no serious injury concerns.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho does have worries. Midfielder Michael Essien is suspended and Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho and Germany midfielder Michael Ballack are injury doubts. Ballack limped off in the first half of Sunday's 0-0 draw at Newcastle United.
With Essien out and Carvalho a possible absentee, more responsibility will fall on John Terry to keep things tight at the back.
Mourinho will also be without Netherlands winger Arjen Robben (knee) but may opt to play his other two wide men, Shaun Wright-Phillips, who has been on his best form since joining the club in 2005 and Joe Cole, recently returned from injury, who has a good scoring record against Liverpool.
But mindful of the need to avoid conceding away goals to Liverpool, he is more likely to keep one on the bench and use the imposing presence of Nigerian John Obi Mikel to neutralise Liverpool's movement out of midfield.
Chelsea, busy in their quest for a record quadruple of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League titles after securing the League Cup, looked jaded on Sunday.
Liverpool with just European glory on their minds, will be the fresher side on Wednesday and have also won three of their last four matches against Chelsea, including the season-opening Community Shield match at Cardiff in August.
Wednesday's match will be the 14th time the teams will play each other over the last three seasons, with Chelsea having won six, Liverpool four and three drawn.
Chelsea: 1-Petr Cech; 19-Lassana Diarra, 9-Khalid Boulahrouz (or 6-Ricardo Carvalho), 26-John Terry, 3-Ashley Cole; 12-John Obi Mikel, 8-Frank Lampard, 4-Claude Makelele (or 13-Michael Ballack), 10-Joe Cole; 7-Andriy Shevchenko (or 21-Salomon Kalou) 11-Didier Drogba
Liverpool: 25-Pepe Reina; 3-Steve Finnan, 23-Jamie Carragher, 5-Daniel Agger, 6-John Arne Riise; 8-Steven Gerrard, 14-Xabi Alonso, 20-Javier Mascherano, 16-Jermaine Pennant; 15-Peter Crouch, 17-Dirk Kuyt
Referee: Markus Merk (Germany) (Additional reporting by Clare Lovell)
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