A place at Wembley is up for grabs on Tuesday night, with the Capital One Cup Semi-Final between Chelsea and Liverpool finely poised at 1-1 going into the second leg.A week after a pulsating first leg at Anfield, the top-flight duo meet again, at Stamford Bridge, to decide who will feature under the arch at Wembley on 1st March.
Eden Hazard gave Chelsea a first-half advantage last Tuesday after he converted his fourth penalty of the season, but the London club failed to hold out in the second period with Raheem Sterling’s fine run and finish pulling the score level.
That took Jose Mourinho's unbeaten record against Brendan Rodgers to four games, and Chelsea have now lost only once in their last eight meetings against Liverpool.
The two sides have certainly developed a rivalry in knock-out competitions in recent years, not least in the League Cup, where they’ve now met four times in 10 seasons.
The first came in the Final back in 2005, during Jose Mourinho’s first season with the Chelsea, when they earned an extra-time win over the Reds, and they’ve clashed twice in earlier rounds since then, with each club taking a 2-0 win in those meetings.
PREVIOUS FINALS: A list of previous League Cup Finals, including the 2005 encounter between Liverpool and Chelsea
The pair were both in FA Cup action last time out, and neither managed to advance past lower division opponents. Chelsea crashed to a shock 4-2 defeat to League 1 Bradford City, despite going 2-0 up, while Liverpool were held 0-0 at home to Bolton Wanderers.
Capital One Cup Semi-Final match official appointments
LEAGUE CUP SWANSONG?
Tuesday night's clash could be the last League Cup outing for Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard, who has three winners’ medals to his name having won the competition in 2001, 2003 and 2012. He also appeared in that 2005 Final, when his side lost out to Chelsea.
One of Gerrard’s most memorable League Cup goals came when he scored the opener in the 2003 Final against Manchester United, setting Liverpool on their way to a 2-0 win, and a victory for his side on Tuesday would see him involved in his fifth final.
The 34-year-old, who will leave England at the end of the current campaign to switch to MLS franchise LA Galaxy, has 29 League Cup appearances to his name with a goal ratio of one in three, having scored nine times in the competition over the years.
When it matters: Gerrard has scored four goals in League Cup Semi-Final legs, having bagged two against Watford in 2005, and the same number against Manchester City in 2012.
There are a couple of former Chelsea players among the Liverpool ranks going into this fixture, in the form of Glen Johnson and Daniel Sturridge.
Sturridge, who was a Blues player between 2009 and 2013, is not expected to play having only returned to training on Sunday following a spell out, but Johnson could feature in the second leg at Stamford Bridge.
The defender was with Chelsea for four years between 2003 and 2007 and came on as an 81st-minute substitute in the Blues' aforementioned 3-2 League Cup Final win in 2005.
The 30-year-old, who arrived at Anfield in 2009, also lifted the trophy with Liverpool in 2012, when his spot-kick helped defeat Cardiff City 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out at Wembley.
The Sky Sports cameras will be at the Bridge and we'll be tweeting updates from the official Capital One Cup Twitter feed - @CapitalOne_Cup. Join in the conversation using #CapitalOneCup.