Chelsea vs Liverpool: 'There will be trepidation from Chelsea after shock Bradford defeat,' says Brendan Rodgers

Blues lost 4-2 in FA Cup after going 2-0 up against the Bantams

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said today that there would be “trepidation” for Chelsea in tomorrow night’s League Cup semi-final because of the side’s weekend exit from the FA Cup. 

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Rodgers – who said he would not take any risks with a return for Daniel Sturridge who had been “tentative” in training – declared that Bradford City’s comeback from a 2-0 deficit on Saturday would create an element of doubt in Jose Mourinho’s players.  “Certainly (their) result at the weekend doesn't help,” he said. “It will be a great motivation for them to go out in a different competition to make a statement. They will want to go out and put it right, but in the back of the their mind even if they are 2-0 up, they will have a bit of trepidation, wondering what can happen.”

Rodgers, who dismissed suggestions that he may move for Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan after his weekend performance in the goalless Anfield FA Cup fourth-round tie, said that he did not expect any business in the last week of the January transfer window. “Nothing [in it] at all,” he said of the Bogdan suggestions. “I don’t think [we’ll do anything] so it’ll be very quiet and unless something dramatic happens we will be as we are.”

He dismissed any suggestion that Chelsea – favourites for tomorrow night after last week’s1-1 first leg draw - had lost the air of invincibility they had in the autumn, when they were being tipped to go all season undefeated.


“I think you guys - you write your reports and change it every week,” he said. “Managers and coaches focussed on performances know it is very difficult to do that. They (Chelsea) are a very good side. We played them last week when they came off the back of their best performance of the season - but we were outstanding. Our strength is very much in terms of attack and going forward and we showed that. Of course (it will be a different game at Stamford Bridge) but we will have to be solid on our defending. We were very, very good defensively (last week). Confidence is high but we won’t be underestimating Chelsea because they had a bad result.”

Rodgers said that his weekend comments about Mario Balotelli needing to up his game did not rule out him returning to the side and said Liverpool would not be gung-ho in bringing Sturridge, who was signed from Chelsea two years ago, back in. “We will see how he is today,” he said. “He had a training session with the team yesterday and he played very, very well. He was comfortable, maybe a little tentative. We’ll see how he is but we won’t rush it that’s for sure. I don’t think he will be 100 per cent when he comes back. That’ll only come when he has got game time. All we can do alongside him is make sure he is in the best possible condition, physically and mentally.”