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Jon Riley 7th May 2012 - 15:30

Roberto Di King Now Kenny!

Liverpool v Chelsea | 20:00 - live on Sky Sports 1

Just three days after contesting the FA Cup Final, Liverpool and Chelsea will square off once again at Anfield, but with far less riding on the outcome of this meeting.

In fact, both teams will probably choose to rest their key players for Tuesday night's encounter. For Liverpool, the likes of Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher may find two matches in such a short space of time too much to handle and might start the match from the game or rested entirely. Midfielders Charlie Adam and Lucas have been ruled out for the rest of the season with knee injuries and will play no further part for the Reds.

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo is likely to rotate his squad after winning the FA Cup on Saturday. With a Champions League final just eleven days away and one trophy already straddling the Stamford Bridge mantelpiece, all focus turns to Munich for the Blues, even the league is now something of a distraction. Striker Fernando Torres could start against his former club after being an unused substitute at Wembley but the game may come too soon for defenders Gary Cahill and David Luiz.

The Cup final really was the last shimmering light for Liverpool in what has been a poor season. They may have picked up some silverware in the form of the League Cup, but even then they needed a penalty shoot-out to see off a dogged Cardiff team that plys it's trade in a league lower than the illustrious Merseysiders.

The dream of winning a nineteenth league title was laughed off pretty early in the season and their prospects of qualifying for the Champions League seem a very distant memory. Their home form has been unacceptable for a club of Liverpool's stature, a total of just five Anfield wins is their poorest tally in the top flight since 1949, a year they were infact relegated from the top flight. Their cup exploits have papered over the cracks for much of the campaign, with many fans stubbornly claiming that a domestic cup double would mean a successful season, and until now criticism has been relatively muted. However, the FA Cup final defeat means that Liverpool will finish the season with just the League Cup to show for it, and can only finish as high as seventh in the table. Needless to say, the Kop will expect better from Kenny Dalglish's side next term.

While Chelsea are no longer a mainstay of the top-four, they are finishing the season with a renewed sense of optimism under Roberto Di Matteo. After beating Tottenham and Barcelona in epic semi-finals, followed by winning the FA Cup, Chelsea's fans cannot believe what a terrific ending their seemingly below-par season is having.

The league is definitely second to the Champions League in the priority list, as last week's defeat to Newcastle proved, and I believe that the Blues will send a weakened team to Anfield. Not that their full team has done much better against Liverpool in recent times. Liverpool have won five of the last seven Premier League meetings between the teams, and the last three in a row while Chelsea have failed to score in five of their last eight Premier League games against Liverpool.

Match betting:
Liverpool 7/5 Draw 23/10 Chelsea 19/10
Selected Correct Scores
Liverpool 2-0 11/1, Liverpool 4-1 40/1, Chelsea 2-1 10/1, Chelsea 2-0 16/1
First Goalscorer
Luis Suarez 11/2, Didier Drogba 11/2, Fernando Torres 6/1, Andy Carroll 13/2
Total Match Goals
Under 2.5 4/5 Over 2.5 19/20
Match Handicaps
Liverpool -1 10/3 Chelsea -1 11/2
William Hill Match Winner
Andy Carroll to score a header 6/1, enhanced from 9/2

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