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SAT, 11AM ET
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Chelsea v Liverpool Preview: What the Pundits Say

I had a crazy evening trying to get my new LCD TV delivered (long story short – it’s still not there but should be by this evening) so I am a little behind on putting together my usual verbose preview.

I think the lineups will look like this:

Chelsea (4-2-2-1-1): Cech — Ferreira, Carvalho, Terry, A Cole — Makelele, Essien — Ballack, Lampard — J Cole — Drogba

Liverpool (4-2-3-1): Reina — Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Riise — Alonso, Mascherano — Babel, Gerrard, Kuyt — Torres

I will say that I see Chelsea going through on a 2-1 scoreline from today’s game. I think the win over United at the weekend will have their confidence sky-high and Ballack is starting to show the dominant form which caused Chelsea to throw such a big money contract his way. If he’s allowed to roam forward and combine with Drogba as he did at the weekend, Liverpool will be under some serious pressure.

On a bit of an aside, it has to be said that I don’t consider myself a pundit — merely an exuberant fan with a lot of opinion and a decent working knowledge of the game having watched seriously for the last 10 years. I enjoy having this platform to share ideas with fellow fans and to keep discovering new ideas about the game.

I do follow what the actual pundits from the Beeb and the various European papers have to say and I thought that today I’d share with you a sampling of the buildup before today’s match. Most of the Spanish and Italian press seemed to be more interested in the aftermath of Barcelona being knocked out by Manchester United than in today’s match. To be fair, there are over a couple thousand articles and blog posts that have been created around this match so I can’t claim I’ve combed every source on the internet but these are a few that caught my attention:

Martin Samuel states the case for Avram Grant

Probably a bit biased (and not exactly a stunning leap of faith) but Marcel Desailly thinks that Chelsea can do the double

Sky Sports had former Liverpool player Alan Kennedy, whose winning shoot-out penalty won the European Cup for Liverpool back in 1984, and former Chelsea player Jason Cundy debate who would advance — it’s an 11 minute clip as well as a bit of writeup

Kevin McCarra of The Guardian sizes up the two managers

Premier League chief Richard Scudamore anticipates security problems in Moscow

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