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Chelsea Vs. Liverpool, 2011 Carling Cup Quarterfinal: Preview

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LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 26:  Frank Lampard of Chelsea looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge on November 26, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 26: Frank Lampard of Chelsea looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge on November 26, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
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I think everyone's in a far better mood now that we've managed to combined scoring a lot of goals with keeping a clean sheet, even if the weekend's win did come against Wolves. Nothing like kicking a midget in the face to make yourself feel big, eh*? Getting a win in the Carling Cup quarterfinal against Liverpool would be another feel-good moment in a month that's been pretty short on them, and it would provide some measure of retribution for the 2-1 loss they inflicted upon us at Stamford Bridge two games ago.

*This is not an admission of guilt to any crimes involving kicking midgets in the face.

It would also be mostly irrelevant, because each team is going to be fielding a weakened side. Chelsea will have only had three days since their win against Wolverhampton on Saturday, and it appears that they've rested players with this match in mind. Liverpool, meanwhile, have been forced into playing on the Tuesday immediately following a Sunday match against league leaders Manchester City, and predictably, they're not very happy about it.

The likes of Luis Suarez, Lucas and Charlie Adam all played the full ninety minutes in that 1-1 draw (which made Liverpool only the second domestic team to have taken points off City this year), which means they're not particularly likely to feature at the Bridge tomorrow. Instead, we should probably expect a fairly direct attack led by king troglodyte Andy Carroll. Hopefully the centre backs are hit with the club and taken off into some cave to be mated with.

Chelsea's lineup here is mostly pretty easy to predict, which gives me an excellent opportunity to look like an idiot when I get it all wrong...

Chelsea (4-3-3): Ross Turnbull; Ryan Bertrand, Branislav Ivanovic, Alex, Jose Bosingwa; John Obi Mikel, Frank Lampard, Josh McEachran; Florent Malouda, Fernando Torres, Nicolas Anelka.

A few of those guys are interchangeable, and I suppose that we might just see Romelu Lukaku instead of Torres, but on the whole that's a lineup that makes a good amount of sense. If Lucas doesn't feature for Liverpool, playing McEachran as an advanced playmaker could be a lot of fun indeed, assuming he hasn't forgotten how to kick footballs etc.

Anyway, with neither side able to field anything approaching their strongest lineup, this game is impossible to predict. I have no idea what the tactics will be and certainly no idea who'll win. But there's no reason we can't, so let's turn Saturday's result into a hot streak. 

Join us for the game thread at 7:45 PM GMT (2:45 PM EST).

PS: John Terry's suspension for this game totally wasn't intentional at all you guys. Mmmmmhmmmmmm.