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Liverpool boss looking forward to Chelsea challenge

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is excited about the prospect of testing himself against Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

Rodgers, who worked under the Portuguese manager at Chelsea, will face his former boss in the League Cup second-leg at Stamford Bridge, with the tie currently even at 1-1.

Brendan Rodgers has a long-standing relationship with Jose Mourinho. Credit: PA

"I always say it is about the teams on the field but knowing him, and how Jose works and how competitive he is, I really enjoy the challenge,"

"The game last week was fantastic, it was a top-level game. We were at a really good level.

"Jose's record speaks for itself. He is a world-class manager and will always have that competitive edge. Your teams have to be at the maximum to get a result.

"We respect the opponent but we have got nothing to fear in the game. We are a team that is in a good moment. We are playing well, working well. We know we can go there and win."


Liverpool boss: Sturridge looks back to normal

Brendan Rodgers has praised Daniel Sturridge after the Liverpool striker returned to training.

The former Chelsea striker has been out for five months after suffering an injury on international duty.

Rodgers is expected to leave the decision whether Sturridge will be part of Liverpool's League Cup semi-final squad late on after reviewing his fitness.

Daniel Sturridge is back in training. Credit: PA

"He had a training session with the team yesterday and he trained very, very well. It was as comfortable as he's looked, even when he was coming back before - he was maybe a little bit tentative. I thought yesterday he looked back to normal." Rodgers said.

"We won't risk it, that's for sure. He's been out for a long time, so we just need to make sure he is ready and feels ready, which is important, to come and contribute.

"I don't think he'll be 100 per cent when he comes back, that will only come when he's got his game time once he gets playing games."

Rodgers: Balotelli to stay and fight for Liverpool place

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says Mario Balotelli will struggle to get into his side at the moment, but confirms the Italian striker will stay with the club.

Balotelli is yet to score in the league since joining from Milan in the summer, and has been left out of the matchday squad recently, but doesn't look set to leave in the January transfer window.

Mario Balotelli is a complex character. Credit: PA

"It's been a difficult period for Mario but he wants to fight for an opportunity here."

After Saturday's draw with Bolton, Rodgers confirmed that Balotelli has been absent as his style was not suited to Liverpool's tactics.

“We spent about an hour or so chatting. He understands where it is at. He knows what is required to get in the squad - the pressing and aggression - and if you can’t do that you are not going to be part of the team. We suffered in the first four months of the season and we can’t go back to that."

Henderson happy Liverpool avoided upset

Jordan Henderson has the armband against Bolton. Credit: PA

Liverpool vice-captain Jordan Henderson says, considering other results, he is pleased his team didn't lose to Bolton.

The Premier League side could only muster a goalless draw against Neil Lennon's men at Anfield.

It was obviously a big shock for City, Chelsea and Tottenham to go out but the main thing is we are still in the competition.

To be honest we were pretty focused on what we were doing but the results came on the tannoy and one or two players might have heard but at the same time we just focused on what we needed to do.

We've seen it for many years, lower league teams have beaten Premier League teams and Saturday was no different but we have shown good character to not lose the game and that is the main thing.

We are a bit disappointed we didn't win but we are still in the draw and are looking forward to the game on Tuesday.

– Jordan Henderson
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