Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has suggested that all the pressure will be on Chelsea and their manager Jose Mourinho in Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final.
Benitez claims Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Bolton on Saturday “cost him the league title” and that Chelsea are now under huge pressure to win the Champions League.
Chelsea lead 1-0 from the first leg but Benitez said: “They will know that Anfield is a difficult place for them.
“And they know full well what pressure they are under to win things.
“Now they have more difficulties in the Premiership, it’s clear if they are going to win a major trophy, the Champions League is the one they want to win.
“They try to win everything – that is enough pressure without me saying anything.
“They know the pressures they are under, you only have to ask Mr Abramovich what he wants, the Champions League or the Premier League. They know.”
Benitez also suggested that the self-styled ‘Special One’, Mourinho, will meet his match when he faces the the Anfield crowd.
Two years ago, the crowd were credited with inspiring Liverpool to a 1-0 victory over Chelsea at Anfield in the Champions League semi-final second leg.
And Benitez believes the supporters can perform the same role again.
“We have our special ones here, they are our fans, who always play with their hearts,” he stated.
“I remember before the game in 2005, the Chelsea players spoke a lot about being ready for the Anfield atmosphere but when the game was played they could not handle it.
“It’s very difficult for any opposing team to prepare to play against 12 men.
“Our fans cannot give red cards or award penalties but they can ‘score goals’.
“I like this about our supporters because we know they will show they are in the best in the world again on Tuesday night.
“The players can also use these positive memories. I have confidence because playing with 12 men is a great advantage for us.
“It is no secret we will try to play with a high tempo from the beginning, something we didn’t do in the first leg. If we can keep a high tempo going for 90 minutes, that will be perfect.
“We did not play to our best level in the first leg, that is the key for me. If we play to our best, we will win.”