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Blues looking to storm Anfield

sports Updated: May 08, 2012 00:04 IST
Agencies
London

Roberto di Matteo's Chelsea side will face Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday with renewed hope of securing the top-four finish that would guarantee their Champions League qualification.


The two teams will meet just three days after the FA Cup final that ended with Chelsea celebrating a third success in the competition in four years following a 2-1 victory at Wembley.

And while Liverpool have only pride to play for in the rematch, di Matteo's men were given fresh incentive as Newcastle and Tottenham stumbled in their quest for maximum points.

Had either of those two teams won last weekend, Chelsea's hopes of finishing fourth in the Premier League would have all but disappeared.

That would have left the Stamford Bridge club needing to win the Champions League final against Bayern Munich to ensure a return to Europe's premier club competition — and consign the fourth-best team in England to the second-tier Europa League. But Chelsea could yet provide themselves with an insurance policy against losing the Champions League final by finish fourth.

That would happen if they beat Liverpool and Blackburn in their final two league games and Tottenham and Newcastle failed to defeat Fulham and Everton respectively on Sunday.

The odds are stacked heavily against them, but Chelsea's end-of-season revival has shown the danger of dismissing their chances.

Mancini cautious
Newcastle: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini adopted a cautious approach after a 2-0 victory at Newcastle left his side on the brink of the Premier League.

City, who haven't lost at home in the league all season, will welcome strugglers QPR will go into the match with a plus eight goal difference advantage over second-placed champions Manchester United.

But while United manager Sir Alex Ferguson suggested City had "two hands" on the trophy Mancini, who wrote off his team's chances when they were eight points adrift of United a month ago, would only say: "Maybe we are the favourites now.

"But, in one game, things can change," the Italian added. "We should keep our concentration like we have done the last five weeks.

"I'm excited because we are top, but it's not enough. If we play like we did here I think we have a fantastic chance to be champions."

He added: "We've still got a difficult game against QPR."