Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Calm Before The Storm....Not...

With the Champions League semi finals kicking off in just under 2 hours, the war of words between the managers of both the camps failed to cease. In fact, it was even more intense than the previous few days with Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho, coming up with his usual verbal diarrhea.

Bullets wheezing past the heads of people after both fired parting shots at each other, claiming the other team being the 'favourites' of the tie and all these psychological 'warfare' is turning into a farce.

Even so, Mourinho managed to come up with the best quote of all, that Liverpool are not a big club under Rafa Benitez. Brilliant.

Whatever it is, tonight is the first half of the ultimate grudge match. Even without the verbal melee of Benitez and Mourinho, one could already sense the tension building and even though it's already the 14th times this two sides meet in 3 seasons, Chelsea will not forget all the pain that were inflicted by Liverpool, especially in high profile games like the semi finals 2 years ago and the FA Cup semi finals last season.

All in their mouth might be the rejection that this is a perfect chance to revenge for what happened but it is not likely that they will want to go all out to kill of Liverpool's only chance for a silverware.

But they'll have to do without the suspended Michael Essien and perhaps even midfield general, Michael Ballack. Portguese centre half, Ricardo Carvalho is a doubt for this game and also what is affecting the squad is that some players have got yellow cards with their name and might have a chance of missing the second leg if they're not careful.

Liverpool, meanwhile, doesn't have any major concerns in terms of injuries or suspension as they look to make it to the second Champions League final in 3 seasons. With two comfortable back to back wins in their hands, they should be ready for this tough game.

Expect an edgy and slow start to the match as it'll resemble a chess match most probably. Both sides will look to shore up their backline and not as little mistakes as possible.

Bring it on, now!

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