Another tight game looks on the cards at the Bridge
A week can be a long time in football and Jose Mourinho will be worried that Chelsea appear to have lost their form at just the wrong time.
Mourinho said he was ashamed after Bradford City shocked the Blues and the football world by coming from two goals down to win at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup on Saturday and they have a potential title decider with Manchester City coming up at the weekend.
But first, they have to see off Liverpool in the second leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final with the tie finely poised.
The Reds were easily the best of the two sides at Anfield last week but had to settle for a draw after a man-of-the-match performance from Blues’ goalkeeper Thibault Courtois had kept out all but Raheem Sterling’s second-half effort.
The Belgian was rested against Bradford on Saturday but will almost certainly be recalled against Liverpool as his team look to bounce back from a traumatic few days.
John Terry will also return to the starting line-up, as will Diego Costa, but the result suddenly looks much harder to predict than it might have been seven days ago.
Liverpool have found a bit of form and, though a top four finish will be their priority, they won’t want to pass up the chance of a Wembley appearance without giving it a go.
That said, they had FA Cup troubles of their own at the weekend when failing to make the most of their possession against Bolton Wanderers.
Steven Gerrard was rested, however, and will be back to drive his team forward at Stamford Bridge. Lazar Markovic and Mario Balotelli could also feature for Brendan Rodgers’ side who are unbeaten in 10 matches in all competitions.
They’ve only conceded two goals in their last five games and might even be boosted by having Daniel Sturridge on the bench against his former club – the England striker hasn’t played since August.
A second home defeat in four days for Chelsea is almost unthinkable but Liverpool will fancy their chances of further denting Chelsea confidence.
The draw in 90 minutes at 59/20 could be a bit of value but under 2.5 total goals at 19/20 also makes plenty of appeal.
The semi-final second leg kicks off at 7.45pm on Tuesday, January 27th at Stamford Bridge.