Neither team exactly had the best of preparations, Liverpool making nine changes and being made to pay for it by Fulham and Chelsea obviously being undone by two Papiss Cissé wonder strikes.
Apart from the Newcastle No9 doing the damage, Chelsea looked pretty tired and pretty leggy and I think they’ll make a few changes for the weekend and freshen up the team – and they should.
But so will Liverpool. Kenny Dalglish will bring back all the players he rested in midweek and I just fancy Liverpool to nick it.
I really think they have the edge. The way the season’s gone for them, they’ve been so poor in the league, but in cup ties they seem to have put it together.
I don’t think it’ll be a high scoring game – I hope I’m wrong – but either way I just fancy Liverpool.
People will be quick to say that if Liverpool win the FA Cup as well as the Carling Cup then it will have still been a poor season, but I don’t think that is the case.
I think it’s fairly obvious they’ve had a bad year in the league. They’ve drawn too many games, we know that, but they’re very close to being there or thereabouts again.
They’re a cup side this year, of course they are, but I don’t think that’s a label Kenny wants.
He wants to be competing in the top four or five in the English league and not in the top eight or nine as they are at the moment – so he will be looking to build on this year’s cup success and take that into the league next campaign.
And if you win two major trophies out of the three on offer in England then that is a good season to me.
There are 20 teams in the Premier League and they are all trying to win the League Cup and the FA Cup as well so I do think that should be seen as a success.
However, Liverpool are a club that has always pushed themselves a little differently than most others and they’ve always based their performance on where they’ve finished in the league.
They’re a successful team this year and Jamie Carragher was right to say that two trophies is a good campaign – but Kenny knows that Liverpool fans won’t be happy if they are constantly finishing eighth.
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