Chelsea will entertain Liverpool in the return leg of the mouth-watering quarterfinal encounter at Stamford Bridge on April 14. The Reds were outclassed a week earlier at Anfield after some abysmal defending, and now the Merseysiders are faced with climbing a very tall mountain indeed.
This is the 10th time in five consecutive seasons that Liverpool and Chelsea will have a face-off in the Champions League. Their flirtatious relationship is only surpassed by Real Madrid and Bayern Munich who have met no less than 12 times in Europe's top competition.
The first leg ended in a 3-1 win for Chelsea. Branislav Ivanovic scored twice in his second Champions League appearanceand Didier Drogba wrapped up the victory for Chelsea.
This means that Liverpool have to score at least three goals to stand a chance of progressing – something which is not beyond their potential by any means. They have netted four against Real Madrid and Man United and five against Aston Villa, so it is feasible - besides, when cornered, Liverpool tend to switch to gung-ho mode and can be quite dangerous.
Chelsea will be without centre-back and skipper John Terry, who is suspended after collecting a yellow card at Anfield. Jose Bosingwa is suffering from a hamstring injury and will miss the match so Ricardo Carvalho is likely to join Alex in the centre of the Blues defence.
Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard should be able to recover in time for the clash after he sustained a groin injury in the first leg, while Argentine midfielder Javier Mascherano is back from suspension.
Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink has warned his players that they must not allow their advantage against Liverpool to be allowed to slip away as it almost did during the weekend match with Bolton.
"It's a typical English game, leading 4-0 and waiting for the fifth because we were playing on one goal, but all of a sudden we got very sloppy and were not winning any balls defensively, the midfield and front players as well, and conceded three goals in nine minutes," Hiddink told the club's website.
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez revealed that Gerrard was responding well to treatment ahead of the match at Stamford Bridge, having missed the 4-0 win over Blackburn at the weekend.
"Steven is getting better, he has been working with the physio and will train later [on Monday]," he said. "We will then discuss the situation with the doctors, but Steven will travel with the party to London and I will make a decision tomorrow."