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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 10:56 GMT 11:56 UK
Countdown to Chelsea v Liverpool

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho (left) and Liverpool's Rafael Benitez
There is no love lost between Mourinho (left) and Benitez
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has ramped up his war of words with Liverpool's Rafa Benitez ahead of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday.

Mourinho said he would have been sacked if he had been as unsuccessful as Benitez in the Premiership.

"Three years without a league title?" he said. "I don't think I'd still be in a job. In three seasons we have got nearly 60 more points than Liverpool."

Benitez hit back: "I just don't know why Mourinho says these things."



1830: "Referee Markus Merk is just having a wander round the pitch, which looks immaculate as the sprinklers give it a last-minute touch up. All the Chelsea seats have a flag on, for the fans to wave."
BBC Sport's Mandeep Sanghera at Stamford Bridge

1819: "I think Jose Mourinho is trembling with fear hence the cheap jibes. A cool composed Rafa Benitez will have the last laugh."
Tim, Pinner, via text on 81111

1813: "I was going to watch as a neutral, but after Jose Mourinho's press conference I'm rooting for Liverpool. And I honestly think Liverpool will win - I'm more confident than I am about Man Utd going through anyway. Good luck!"
Dion Donley, Man Utd fan on 606 messageboards

1801: "This is the most imprtant game. Whoever wins the first match will go through to the final."
Luke Armes, Poole, via text to 81111

1750: "Bumped into Eyal Berkovic outside the ground. Tried to get him to give a prediction, but he wasn't too keen. 'Chelsea to edge it over two legs', was all I managed to get out of him."
BBC Sport's Mandeep Sanghera at Stamford Bridge

1741: "I don't think Rafa would still be in a job if he'd spent the money Chelsea have and not won the Champions League."
Kev, The Wirral, via text to 81111

1729: "It's my 25th wedding anniversary today. Plans for tonight? The match of course. This is bigger than 25 years of marriage, just please don't tell the wife!"
Chris Smith, Liverpool, via text on 81111

1700: "The Chelsea team coach has just arrived in front of a small gathering of fans all trying to get autographs. The Chelsea players looked focused as they got off and Joe Cole was the only player to stop - posing briefly for a photo. That's as good as it got for the fans."
BBC Sport's Mandeep Sanghera at Stamford Bridge

1650: Liverpool took an almost fully-fit squad to Stamford Bridge after Steve Finnan shook off a neck injury. But what formation will Rafa go for? Two of Crouch, Kuyt and Bellamy up front or Kuyt all on his own?

1645: "I've had to cancel training so I can watch the Reds. So sorry to Horsted U14s but you'll learn more from this game than I can ever teach you."
Paul, Chatham, via text to 81111

1622: Chelsea go into tonight's game without the suspended Michael Essien and Michael Ballack, who is injured. They also have a doubt over Ricardo Carvalho. Who'd be in your team? Why not have a tinker with the Chelsea squad selector...

1616: "It all depends on the first 15 minutes. If Liverpool can contain Chelsea, then I think they can get a valuable away goal - still nervous though."
Neilpired, Liverpool, via text to 81111

1602: Cheeky Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho reckons Liverpool are favourites to reach the final, but the bookies disagree. William Hill make Chelsea 9/10 to win, with Liverpool 3/1.
Your views on the match

1545: "Nervous anticipation in the office. A huge night ahead. 2-0 Chelsea, Drogba to get brace."
Via text to 81111

1505: "Tense atmosphere in the city at the moment but also a quiet sense of confidence. I predict a 2-1 win to Liverpool."
David Naylor, Liverpool, via text to 81111

1443: Luis Garcia has been having his say about the goal that knocked Chelsea out in the 2005 semi-final. Blues boss Jose Mourinho simply refuses to recognise it as a goal. But Garcia, who is currently injured, tells the Liverpool website: "That goal gives me so many very good memories. It was very clear to me at the time that it was over the line, which is why I started the celebration." That's cleared that up then.

1428: "I think Liverpool will be cagey and try to make Chelsea take the attacking initiative."
MrBlueBurns, via 606
Your views on the match

1345: "Very tense atmosphere. Feeling it in the stomach. Predict Liverpool to take the advantage into the second leg."
Martyn P, Liverpool, via text to 81111

1312: "2-0 to the Chels. Sheva and Joey Cole to score. 1-1 at Anfield. Blues v AC final."
Via text to 81111

1230: The atmosphere is building on 606, where CFCMightyBlues says: "A lot of fans here, and Liverpool players too, sounded quite confident over this tie. I must say, I am enjoying it to start this game as underdogs." Don't forget folks if you're reading this on your phone on the way to the game, send us a text to 81111 and let us know how you are feeling.

"We know we have the ability to beat them, we just have to do it now on the pitch. We are certainly up for it, and this seems to be our competition these days."
Liverpool hitman Peter Crouch

"I think its going to be a 1-1 draw tonight. Liverpool will play for a 0-0 on the return and fail miserably. Result: Blues go through!!"
Chiefduffer, via 606 messageboards

"I will play against Liverpool without thinking of what happened in that cursed final in 2005. They are very strong, especially in the Champions League."
Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko

"Chelsea are without Ballack and Essien - massive players in midfield. The only thing is that Chelsea have been at the business end a bit more so are tuned in to a game. Liverpool have been coasting through unimportant Premiership games, so can they switch on?"
Lackery, via 606 messageboards


Chelsea will be without German midfielder Michael Ballack as he picked up an ankle injury in the Premiership at Newcastle on Sunday.

Michael Essien is suspended for the game, so Mikel Jon Obi looks set to feature in the midfield.

Arjen Robben (knee) is still missing, but Portuguese defender Ricardo Carvalho trained on Tuesday and could recover from his leg injury in time.

Chelsea (probable): Cech, Diarra, Cole, Carvalho, Terry, Makelele, Mikel, Lampard, Wright-Phillips, Shevchenko, Drogba.

Liverpool right-back Steve Finnan has recovered from a neck injury and will be fit to take his place in the starting line-up.

Central defender Jamie Carragher is set to equal Ian Callaghan's club record of 89 European games for the Reds.

Boss Rafael Benitez has no new injury worries and no suspensions to contend with.

Liverpool (probable): Reina, Finnan, Arbeloa, Agger, Carragher, Gerrard, Alonso, Mascherano, Riise, Bellamy, Kuyt.

Chelsea v Liverpool
23 Apr 07 |  Europe
Mourinho v Benitez
24 Apr 07 |  Europe
Chelsea match reaction
25 Apr 07 |  Chelsea
Benitez stays postive for return
25 Apr 07 |  Liverpool


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