WEDNESDAY: UEFA Champions League Semifinal, 1st Leg
CHELSEA-LIVERPOOL (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, 2:30 pm ET, live)
Liverpool and Chelsea meet Wednesday in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semifinals series, a repeat of their 2005 series Liverpool won en route to its fifth title.
Unlike Tuesday's wild-open game between Manchester United and AC Milan, the Liverpool-Chelsea games shapes up to be a defensive struggle. Two years ago, a hotly disputed goal by Luis Garcia after only four minutes of play in the second leg was the only goal of the Liverpool-Chelsea series.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez says the Reds will aim to score away from home as they did in the previous two series, beating Barcelona, 2-1, and PSV, 3-0, away.
"They have a very good defense and concede less goals now than we do," the Spaniard said. "But 0-0 away from home is not necessarily a good result. We scored goals in Barcelona and our idea is to score at Stamford Bridge and hopefully win."
For Chelsea, the big question will be whether the Blues have taken a toll for their bid to win four titles. MidfielderMichael Essien is suspended, winger Arjen Robben is out with an injury, and defender Ricardo Carvalhoand midfielder Michael Ballack are both doubtful with injuries. Manager Jose Mourinho may start 20-year-old Nigerian John Obi Mikel in midfield as protection against the Red's counterattacking strength.
Chelsea:1-Cech; 19-Diarra, 9-Boulahrouz, 26-Terry, 3-A.Cole; 12-Mikel, 8-Lampard, 4-Makelele, 10-J.Cole; 7-Shevchenko, 11-Drogba.
Liverpool:25-Reina; 3-Finnan, 23-Carragher, 5-Agger, 6-Riise; 8-Gerrard, 14-Xabi Alonso, 20-Mascherano, 16-Pennant; 15-Crouch, 17-Kuyt.
Referee:Markus Merk (Germany).