By Tim Treacy
Liverpool take on Chelsea in the Carling Cup today and both teams, it is believed, will field weakened sides. Liverpool are coming off the back of their best performance of the season, and although Liverpool deserved all three points against Manchester City this past Sunday, confidence will be sky high for the Redmen going into this tie with Chelsea.
Kenny Dalglish has been very vocal about the timing of this tie, highlighting the fact, many times, that this game comes just 48 hours after the Manchester City game. He even went as far as to tell Liverpool fans to consider this fact before buying tickets for the game at Stamford Bridge telling the club’s website, “The one thing I will say to our fans is to think carefully before buying tickets for the League Cup game because we do not want them spending their money and then we decide there is no other option but to use only young players in the tie.”
With this in mind, and following the exhaustive performance from Liverpool on Sunday, I would expect quite a few changes for Liverpool tonight. Charlie Adam, Luis Suarez, and Lucas, all played the full 90 minutes on Sunday and I would expect that they will be rested tonight, at least in part. Andy Carroll, Craig Bellamy, Martin Kelly, and Jay Spearing are all expected to start tonight’s game.
Chelsea likewise, are set to ring a number of changes with John Terry suspended and Raul Meireles cup-tied. Ross Turnbull, Ryan Bertrand, Josh McEachran, and Romelu Lukaku all pushing for a place in the starting eleven.
This is Chelsea and Liverpool’s fifth meeting in League Cup history. Both teams have won two ties each, although Chelsea have been victorious in the last two, including the 2005 final. Dalglish has never lost to Chelsea in 12 matches as manager of Liverpool, winning nine and drawing three and will look to continue that run today. Liverpool are the most successful team in the history of the competition winning it on seven occasions.
Chelsea v Liverpool
When: Tuesday, November 29th, 1945 GMT / 1445 EST
Where: Stamford Bridge, Fulham, London
EPL: Liverpool 6th (22 points), Chelsea 5th (25 points)
Carling Cup 2011/12 for Liverpool: Stoke 1-2 Liverpool, Brighton 1-2 Liverpool
Projected Chelsea Starting XI: (4-3-3)
DEF: Bertrand, Ivanovic, Alex, Bosingwa
MID: Obi Mikel, Lampard, McEachran
FW: Malouda, Torres, Anelka
Projected Liverpool Starting XI: (4-5-1)
DEF: Kelly, Carragher, Coates, Jose Enrique
MID: Maxi, Henderson, Lucas, Spearing, Bellamy