Joe Cole may start for Liverpool on a night of high emotion for Brendan Rodgers


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The Independent Football

Of course, as Brendan Rodgers admitted, it was "a no-brainer" exchanging Swansea, the little club out on a limb in south Wales, for one that has won five European Cups. However, going to manage Liverpool in the summer was a slightly more difficult decision than it appeared.

Tonight at Anfield, Rodgers comes face-to-face with his former club, defending the League Cup, a trophy that was not enough to keep Kenny Dalglish in office.

"I had two incredible years at Swansea, we created history and the players were very receptive to my ideas. I built up a close relationship with the fans. I wasn't in a hurry to leave – I knew few other clubs would understand my way of working.

"That was the dilemma and I had a lump in my throat when I left. In terms of the club, the decision was a no-brainer because it's Liverpool Football Club. But I was saying goodbye to some good people. But the professional challenge was too great."

A thin squad will be rotated against Swansea, which is likely to mean that Joe Cole will start only his second match of the season.

Cole spent much of last season on loan at Lille, who were keen for him to remain, where he would have been offered Champions League football against Bayern Munich and a tilt at the French title. However, it would also entail a pay cut and you would hope this was not the reason why Cole chose to return to Merseyside as essentially a reserve-teamer.

"No I am not surprised he came back," said Rodgers. "Nine out of 10 clubs you could probably walk away from but you are not going to walk away from Liverpool without a fight."

Capitol One news: Tonight's games

Liverpool v Swansea (8pm)

Liverpool (possible, 4-3-3): Reina; Wisdom, Carragher, Coates, Enrique; Sahin, Shelvey, Henderson; Assaidi, Yesil, Downing.

Swansea (possible, 4-3-3): Tremmel; Rangel, Monk, Williams, Tiendalli; Britton, De Guzman, Gower; Routledge, Michu, Graham.

Ref L Probert (Wilts). TV H'lights, BBC1, 11.15pm

Chelsea v Manchester United (7.45pm)

Chelsea (possible, 4-2-3-1): Turnbull; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz, Bertrand; Romeu, Mikel; Moses, Mata, Marin; Piazon.

Manchester United (possible, 4-3-3): Lindegaard; Vermijl, M Keane, Wootton, Buttner; Anderson, Fletcher, Giggs; Nani, Hernandez, Welbeck.

Ref L Mason (Lancs). TV Sky Sports 1

Norwich City v Tottenham Hotspur (7.45pm)

Norwich (possible, 4-4-2): Rudd; Tierney, Turner, Bassong, Butterfield; Fox, Tettey, Howson, Snodgrass; Morison, Jackson.

Tottenham (possible, 4-2-3-1): Lloris; Smith, Dawson, Caulker, Naughton; Livermore, Sigurdsson; Falque, Dempsey, Lennon; Defoe.

Ref J Moss (W Yorks). TV H'lights, BBC1, 11.15pm