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Liverpool vs Chelsea: What will Rafa do?

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This might be the most predictable line-up Rafa has ever chosen or it might not be? I have a feeling he's not going to do what I would, but then again he's got a couple of La Liga trophies and a Champion's League trophy and I have three youth team trophies that I think my parents threw away. Here's who I would start:

Reina
Finnan
Agger
Carragher
Arbeloa
Pennant
Gerrard
Mascherano
Riise
Kuyt
Crouch

Bench:
The Slave
Hyypia
Sissoko
Zenden
Xabi
Gonzo
Bellamy

Here's what I think Rafa will do though:

Reina
Finnan
Agger
Carragher
Arbeloa
Gerrard
Xabi
Mascherano
Riise
Kuyt
Crouch

Bench:
The Slave
Pennant
Gonzo
Bellamy
Hyypia
Zenden
Sissoko

I don't like Gerrard on the right. I don't mind against lesser foes, but we need him in the middle, especially if he's going to do what he did at Stamford Bridge last week. We need a real winger like Pennant to spread the defense out. Earlier this season, when we played them at home, Pennant tore them up and was probably our best player. If he goes with Gerrard on the right, it's going to be up to Xabi to step up, tell Stevie G when he's getting in the way, and basically run the attack.

This match will basically come down to who wants it more. If you compare these teams, neither is much better than the other, despite Chelsea fan's ramblings about how only Gerrard would start for them and only Carra would make the bench. I always get a chuckle out of that because if we look at it the other way around, only Drogba would start for us, and only Terry would make the bench, but that's reality, and I've learned long ago that most football fans, especially Chelsea fans, don't live in reality. We have two things that could give us the edge today: Steven Gerrard and the Kop. If we can dominate defensively, especially if they go on the attack like Mourinho is saying they will (which I doubt, by the way), then we should be able to counter effectively and create plenty of opportunities. Capitalizing on such opportunities is a whole other issue.

Crouch is key for us. He can't be Crouchinho today. We can't have him trying to hold onto the ball for too long and try to create his own goals. That results in a turnover way too often. We need him to do the one to three touch thing and find the open man, be it behind him or to the wings. We are obviously going to need great efforts from everyone on the pitch, some like Mascherano and Xabi need to redeem themselves after last weeks fiasco. It's only a goal. We can win this.