Monday, 6 April 2009

Midfield stars could decide Champions League clash

On Wednesday night, Chelsea will travel to Anfield to meet Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie. The two teams have had significant impacts upon each other's fate in this competition over recent seasons and this year is set to be no different.

Clashes over recent years have been tight and, although Chelsea emerged victorious last year, football betting on this tie is likely to be split.

Two players who could prove decisive are England stars Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. Both players have been instrumental to the success of their sides this season and the individual who manages to emerge victorious in this midfield battle could subsequently lead his side to glory.

John Terry has increased the hype surrounding the Liverpool captain this week, revealing his sense of dread at coming up against the in-form midfielder. Terry, who has recently been reminded of Gerrard's talent after meeting up with him on international duty, stated that he is "one of the best players in the world" and is in frightening form for his club.

The Chelsea captain did not stop there in his praise for Liverpool. He spoke of the quality that is running throughout the side and was particularly keen to praise the "spine" of the team, which Terry believes is composed of Jose Reina, Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard, and Fernando Torres.

However, as always, the Chelsea defender was quick to point out the quality inherent within his own side. By comparing Steven Gerrard to Frank Lampard, Terry gave the Chelsea midfielder a public backing which will boost his confidence ahead of the vital Anfield tie.

A further boost to Lampard's ego will undoubtedly arrive after he hears about Guus Hiddink's latest comments. The Chelsea boss stated after the Newcastle match that Lampard, who is apparently a "terrific character", has the talent to stop Liverpool in their tracks. The midfielder is a "box to box player and times his runs so well".

Hiddink revealed that he knew about Lampard before he arrived at Stamford Bridge but, since his arrival, his "respect has grown even more". The midfielder was instrumental in helping Chelsea to banish the woes of their recent Spurs defeat by winning at St James' Park and the manager was keen to point out how "incredible" his recent performances have been.

With Manchester United still firm favourites to retain their Premier League crown, fans of both Liverpool and Chelsea will be hoping that their respective midfield stars can provide them with the boost they need to progress to the semi-final stage of the Champions League.

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