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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 May 2007, 09:02 GMT 10:02 UK
Countdown to Liverpool v Chelsea

Rafael Benitez (left) and Jose Mourinho
Managers Benitez (left) and Mourinho face off at Anfield
Liverpool and Chelsea meet in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final at Anfield on Tuesday.

Jose Mourinho's Chelsea side hold a 1-0 lead, courtesy of Joe Cole's goal in the first leg at Stamford Bridge.

The game has been given extra spice by some interesting exchanges between Mourinho and his opposite number Rafael Benitez ahead of the game.

The winners will face either Manchester United or AC Milan in the final in Athens on 23 May.

BIG-MATCH BUILD-UP

606: DEBATE

Text us on 81111 or contribute to 606

1730: I don't think Chelsea will let Liverpool come at them. Liverpool have had poor results at Anfield against where Chelsea have attacked. Chelsea will try to pose the physical aspect of their game. They are good at set pieces and are very direct in the final third.
Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino on BBC Radio Five Live

Chelsea are not a team that can sit back and will play long balls up to Drogba. I think Chelsea will go for John Terry on Peter Crouch and try to stop the long balls from Liverpool.

The crowd will have a huge impact. If Liverpool can come out and attack early on then the crowd will get even more behind them.
Former Liverpool midfielder Ronnie Whelan on BBC Radio Five Live

1720: Chelsea might not have scored at Anfield in the Champions League, but it's not them that need to worry about scoring.
Ash via text on 81111

1710: I think the match is perfectly set up to be end-to-end and very entertaining!
Lucy, Belfast via text on 81111

1649: Can't wait for the encounter to get underway, its exciting for the neutrals. I hate to think what both sets of fans are feeling!
Greg in Ipswich via text on 81111

1645: On my way into the city most of the traffic on the M6 was made up of Liverpool fans. They passed a sign warning of an 'Animal on road' and were slighly held up by a rottweiler sat on the side watching traffic go past.

Everton striker Victor Anichebe was city's Blues persuasion out in Liverpool city centre as he strolled into Next on Church St. to do a spot of shopping. Other than that the city is swarming with the Red of Liverpool fans.
Chief football write Phil McNulty in Liverpool

1631: I feel sick as a chip! Can't remember being this nervous before. Good luck Chelsea fans - hope everyone enjoys the game. Come on you Reds.
Time for heroes on 606

1622: I'm so scared I think my heart is going to come through my chest. I've felt like this since lunchtime! To make it worse the Everton fans in work have become Chelsea fans for the day!
Redman in Liverpool via text on 81111

1610: Chelsea have scored one goal against Liverpool in the Champions League - but NONE at Anfield. True_red_007 on 606

1558: Liverpool couldn't handle Joe Cole last week and the same will happen this week when he'll be even fitter and more up for it.
Via text on 81111

1546: I don't think the yellow card threat will bother Drogba. It certainly didn't in the first leg! Come on you Blues!
Alex via text on 81111

1530: If both teams really play (blood, guts, passion and with a dollop of flair and panache) it will be a thrilling game of football. If not, it will be a tight slightly boring, if a little nerve shredding sort of affair.
Matt23pool on 606

1523: Drogba relies on physical strength. He cannot risk a yellow card tonight as he would miss the final so his threat is limited a lot.
Stephen Donnelly via text on 81111

1514: A lot of you think Didier Drogba hold the key to Chelsea's success. He gave Liverpool defender Daniel Agger a nightmare of a time in the first leg but his fellow centre-back Jamie Carragher has had a word with the Dane and says he will bounce back tonight. What do you think? Let us know via 606 or text on 81111.

1510 Forget passion. Liverpool don't have the technical ability that Chelsea possess. That's why they will lose.
Luke and Frasc Kent via text on 81111

1500: Liverpool will win just because of the sheer passion they will show. But they will have to dig deep tonight against a strong Chelsea team.
Beckett86 on 606

1453: It's a clear win for Liverpool. They are brutal at home on these occasions, Crouch to be the hero!
Ryan from Bristol

1443: Just sat down in a pub on Anfield Rd. The atmosphere is electric. Big crowds of red are gathering everywhere.
A. Ridley from Scunthorpe via text.

1437: I simply go for a Liverpool victory because they are fresher.
messi4arsenal on 606

1425: Just leaving the big smoke now heading to Anfield. Chelsea had better win, my wife is in hospital about to give birth! I am crazy for Essien.
Liam Thomas via text on 81111

1423: I've just got out of work early to get myself mentally ready. Come on you mighty Blues. Lamps to net winner.
LukeW via text on 81111

1420: I'm on a tour of Anfield and they're clearing space in the trophy cabinet for a special delivery on 25th May! Good luck boys.
Via text on 81111

1415: There's a reason why we are 13 points clear of Liverpool in the league. Simply put we are a better team and will qualify tonight.
Peter May from Ealing via text

1410: I had an assessment this morning to see if I would keep my job or be made redundant. But I think I was still more nervous about this game!
Via text on 81111

1405: BBC Radio Merseyside chat to some South African fans who have come to Anfield to watch the game. One says: "...26 years it has taken us to get here so we can't lose."

Tune into BBC Radio Merseyside on 95.8FM, DAB Digital Radio or 1485AM to listen to their coverage of tonight's match from 1900 BST.

1400: I'm neutral but I want Chelsea to win. The one man team that is Liverpool don't deserve it.
kippax666 on 606

1355: Had a vivid dream last night - Riise scores first, Liverpool win 2-0 - I honestly woke up thinking we'd done!
Mighty Moose via text on 81111

1350: On a coach up to the game, I'm going to go for a 0-0 draw or a 1-0 Chelsea win. If we get an early goal the tie will be as good as over.
Alan McGuinness, M6 via text on 81111

1330: For Liverpool to win, they'll need Gerrard on fire. I'm a neutral tonight, but want a Liverpool win.
Matt, Somerset

If anyone is reading this on their mobiles as they trot around Liverpool, travelling to Merseyside or gearing up to watch the game with friends then feel free to text us your movements on 81111.

1325: Who cares about this meaningless nonsense? The big match tonight is the Ryman League play-off at Hayes Lane - Bromley v Wimbledon.
CanaanBanana via text on 81111

1318: The local papers in Liverpool are quite interesting. The Liverpool Echo has Jamie Carragher saying Jose Mourinho is the funniest thing to come out of London since Del Boy and has a picture of the Chelsea boss in a Del Boy cap and in front of the yellow van.
BBC London match commentator Phil Parry

Tune into BBC London on 94.9FM, DAB Digital Radio or Sky Channel 0152 to listen to their coverage of tonight's match from 1900 BST. You can also take part in the show, call: 020 7224 2000, text 07786 200 949 or email: london.sport@bbc.co.uk

1250: Chelsea have moved to stop the conspiracy theories over striker Andriy Shevchenko's absence from the squad. The club say he was injured in training on Sunday and did not refuse to travel because he was not going to be in the starting line-up.

1249: "Damn. I'm being dragged to a Roger Waters concert tonight, so I won't be able to see the match. I don't even like Pink Floyd! Hopefully, I won't think about that time we got kicked out of the Champions League by Liverpool in 2007 whenever someone puts on Dark Side of the Moon again..."
JohanMourinho on 606

1226: "I'm in work but just can't think of anything but tonight. I've got a feeling that we are to witness the most exciting night in European football. The crowd will be electric and the players need to produce some magic for us to get through. Good luck lads. Seven hours to go..."
antmails on 606

1224: "The winners of the Champions League should actually be able to challenge for their domestic league. Liverpool haven't been that team since the start of the Premiership and if they won it again it would devalue the whole tournament."
Desolation_row on 606

1221: Atmosphere? There's more atmosphere at Victoria Station in the rush hour. It takes more than a few flags and embarrassing folk songs to beat mighty CHELSEA."
JackCrankshaw on 606

1215: "Please Chelsea win tonight. Nothing worse than Liverpool winning the Champions League after another mediocre domestic campaign."
Via text on 81111

1209: "Tonight what a great night for English football. We are leading the way in Europe. Who will win? Who cares, lets have a great game of football."
allcolourspectator on 606

1204: "Yep, if Liverpool make it the final is guaranteed to be dull - just like last time in Istanbul. We're heading for our SEVENTH final."
Via text on 81111

1201: "My wife, a United fan is expecting our first baby on the 21st May. As a Liverpool fan, I have been saying that we'll both get to the final, and the baby will come on the night of it. I still stand by this.. "Jamie Steven Peter Pepe Dirk Daniel Xabi Marc Jermaine Momo" will be born as Liverpool lift number six in Athens."
clumsy1974

1158: "I have no idea who's going to take this, I just know I haven't been this excited and terrified at the same time since Istanbul. Wanna be remembered boys?? Tonight is a chance for all Liverpool players to become legends!"
tinyMagicDragon on 606

1154: "Who else is sick of hearing about the Anfield effect? Where was it when PSV beat you last year or when Chelsea scored 4?"
Via text on 81111

1152: Owen Hargreaves has given us his opinion on the Champions League semi-finals in his weekly column. He reckons Chelsea are in the driving seat but hints at a big night for Steven Gerrard. Click on the link to read his views:

1147: "I'm teaching English in Japan at the moment and I'll be watching the game in a sports bar in Okayama. Kick off's at 3.45am local time, so I may be a little tired at work tomorrow! I'm going for 2-0 Liverpool. Come on you Reds!"
rafa-sense on 606

1145: "If Bolton can score twice at the Bridge then Liverpool can definitely score thrice at Anfield. 3-1 to the Reds and a re-run of the 2005 final please."
Original Owen on 606

1143: "This is your final tonight because come the 23rd the trophy will be Uniteds."
Monkeyleader via text on 81111

1142: It's a shame that one of these two teams has to be in the final as the final will be guaranteed to be dull!"
Dunc1981 via 606

1141: "Liverpool need to just keep focus and not rely on one person to make the difference. It needs a full team effort. I tip Crouch and Kuyt to score. 2-0 to Liverpool."
Arun via text on 81111

1140: Liverpool should squeeze through if they play with the high intensity and if Rafa picks the right players for the match."
R Singh via text on 81111

1139: When you need someone to stand up and be counted, to pull an absolute rabbit from the hat, Steven Gerrard is the man. He will do the same tonight."
Lauren via text on 8111

1138: "2-0 to Chelsea. Liverpool will come to attack, but will get hit on the break by Robben and Cole. Can't see Liverpool scoring at all with their poor strikers. Welldone Chelsea you are as good as through."
ForzaVelez on 606

1135: "I agree with Benetiz, I wouldn't believe any of the rumours/ploys coming out of chelsea. Carvahlo could well play, shevchenko could easily be on the bench or starting despite the rumours going around."
moreinjuredthanowen on 606

1133: It appears not everyone is as excited about tonight's game. rihsabramo on 606 says: "Don't worry, got some paint drying so that should keep me busy." Anyone else not pumped for a "special night" at Anfield? Text us on 81111 or follow the link to 606 above.

1128: "I think Liverpool should opt to play Pennant and Gonzalez out on the wings with Gerrard and Mascherano in midfield. Whip crosses in for Crouch with Gerra."
Via text on 8111

1126: "We don't fear Drogba or Lampard. Liverpool will win 3-0 due to the Anfield factor - it is crucial."
Nick the red via text on 81111

1126: "I think Chelsea will go through and go on to win the Champions league. I don't think Liverpool have quite what it takes this season. I'm a Leeds fan, so I know!"
adie_shad on 606

1124: "Any neutral would want Rafa's Liverpool to go through, especially at Anfield. A 90th minute Gerrard goal in front of the Kop to win it would make any neutral's day."
-nicknack on 606

1117: "Liverpool fans should take belief, Chelsea look like they've gone 15 rounds with Rocky Balboa and we look like we've been sparring with the Teletubies."
RedRocketRonan on 606

1116: "No silly mistakes and Chelsea will sail through."
Mike from Hull via text on 81111

1113: "I expect the game to start off very slow with Liverpool looking for a 1-0 while Chelsea not really looking to score, just keeping it as it is. There will be very few mistakes and so I expect a 0-0."
R-Keane (Manager) on 606

1111: "I predict a classic Euro tie and a big performance from Crouch. Can see Chelsea scoring but we'll be rampant. Reds through 3-1."
EvilEye via text on 81111

1109: "Rafa has to play Sami. Drogba was the difference last week and we need someone to put the shackles on him if we're going to get to Athens. It's gonna be nervy but I can see us squeezing through in E/T or on Pens!"
5starkop on 606

1101: "Obviously it's not going to be easy because Chelsea are a solid team, but I really believe this will go down as one of those famous European nights at Anfield. Liverpool to win 3-1."
High_as_a_Kuyt on 606

1057: "If Liverpool play to their strengths they can win the game."
Joe from Peterborough via text on 81111

1056: Do you agree with superred007? for all their success do you enjoy watching these two sides? If you are a neutral who do you want to see go through at Anfield? If you are a Manchester United fan, who would you like to meet in the final if your team can see off AC Milan?

1055: "Just hope its a good game played in the right spirit. It's a shame both managers' tactics are robotic. Liverpool are not that clever and Chelsea are just Wimbledon in disguise, albeit with some world-class players."
superred007 on 606

1050: "I can see this tie being decided late in the tie, either a marvellous Gerrard goal in the 80th minute or a lucky Chelsea break in the 89th minute after Liverpool go 2-0 up."
Goon-era on 606

1045: It is nine hours until the game kicks off. How will you be building up to the game? Where will you be watching the game or if you can't get to see it how will you be following the action? If you are going to the game send us your thoughts as well.

1045: But who will come out on top in tonight's game? Text us your view on 81111 or on 606 using the link above.

1043: When it comes to trophies Mourinho also has the edge with four major titles (two Premiership and two League Cups) compared to Benitez's two. But along with an FA Cup win the Reds boss also has the one that has so far escaped Mourinho at Chelsea - the Champions League.

1039: Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez both arrived in English football in June 2004. This will be the 15th time in three years that they will have met since then. Chelsea lead the head to head with seven wins, compared to four victories for Liverpool and three draws.

1030: The two sides had met earlier that season in the League Cup final with Chelsea winning 3-2. Jose Mourinho was sent from the dugout at the Millennium Stadium for taunting the Liverpool fans - beginning a war of words between the two clubs.

1024: As Rafael Benitez refers to below, these two sides met at the same stage of the competition two years ago. Luis Garcia got the only over the two legs to send Liverpool through to the final.

1021: I reckon Chelsea will aim for an early away goal to put the tie out of Liverpool's reach. But if they play the same lacklustre way as they did against Newcastle, the game's Liverpool's for the taking.
ViewFromThePaddock on 606

"I remember before the game in 2005, the Chelsea players spoke a lot about being ready for the Anfield atmosphere but when the game was played they could not handle it.
Reds boss Rafael Benitez

"We did not create many chances at Stamford Bridge but I am sure we will create more at Anfield."
Jamie Carragher

"Peter Crouch is the tallest man I have ever played against but I am ready. I have never seen a footballer like him - he can beat me in the air but I can beat him to the ball on the ground."
Michael Essien

"Liverpool will win it 2-1 and go out of the competition."
Artistika on 606

TEAM NEWS AHEAD OF 1945 BST KICK-OFF

Liverpool full-back Steve Finnan is set to return after a neck injury.

Reds striker Peter Crouch could also be in line for a starting place.

Javier Mascherano, Jose Reina, Daniel Agger, Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard, Dirk Kuyt and John Arne Riise all missed Liverpool's defeat against Portsmouth at the weekend but are expected to start against Chelsea.

Liverpool (from): Reina, Finnan, Arbeloa, Carragher, Hyypia, Agger, Riise, Gerrard, Alonso, Sissoko, Pennant, Zenden, Bellamy, Kuyt, Mascherano, Crouch, Dudek, Gonzalez.

Blues forward Andriy Shevchenko will not play as he has a groin problem which he picked up in taining on Sunday.

Newspaper reports have suggested he refused to travel after being told he would be a substitute for the game but Chelsea have denied the accusation.

Ricardo Carvalho and Michael Ballack are also on the injured list but Arjen Robben is fit.

Midfielder Michael Essien returns for the Blues but he could be drafted into central defence in place of Carvalho.

Chelsea pair Didier Drogba and Joe Cole and Liverpool duo Mascherano and Jermaine Pennant would be suspended for the Champions League final if they were to earn a booking at Anfield.

Chelsea (from): Cech, A Cole, Makelele, Terry, Essien, Ferreira, Boulahrouz, Robben, Lampard, J Cole, Drogba, Mikel, Geremi, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Diarra, Kalou, Cudicini.



SEE ALSO
Liverpool v Chelsea
30 Apr 07 |  Europe
Owen Hargreaves column
30 Apr 07 |  Football
Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool
25 Apr 07 |  Europe


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