Jordan Henderson on importance for Liverpool get first leg lead against Chelsea

Henderson Liverpool

Liverpool are looking to prove their recent turnaround is the real deal by overcoming the Premier League leaders in the semi-final of the League Cup.

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson has told the Liverpool Echo that it's important the Reds get a first leg lead in their League Cup semi-final with Chelsea.

The first leg is at Anfield tomorrow night with the Reds targeting a record ninth triumph in the competition, and aim to win their first major trophy in three years, the first under current manager Brendan Rodgers.

Henderson seems confident that Liverpool have what it takes to hurt Jose Mourinho's side, saying: “They are a fantastic team but so are we. There’s a lot of talent in our squad and we’ve shown that with our recent performances.

“We’re quite a young team with a lot of potential and confidence in the group is growing. I believe we can go and really put Chelsea under pressure.

“If we defend like we have been doing recently and we’re really solid then we know we have the pace and the talent going forward to hurt them.”

The Reds go into the game on the back of two consecutive clean sheets following wins against Sunderland and Aston Villa. Defensively, Liverpool have left a lot to be desired but have managed to gain some confidence with clean sheets against the lowest scoring sides in the Premier League. Chelsea will provide a different test, however.

The Liverpool vice-captain added: “Playing at Anfield is always special and a cup semi-final against Chelsea will be a massive night.

“The fans will be up for it and we’ll prepare the best we can. I’m sure all the boys will be ready."

It's not an unfamiliar story with Liverpool and Chelsea going head-to-head in semi-finals like they have done over the past ten years, notably in the Champions League. Though it may not be the most prestigious of prizes on offer, the competition still holds its importance for both sides this season.

Brendan Rodgers has targeted his first trophy as Liverpool manager this season, while Jose Mourinho will be looking for his side to pick up their first piece of silverware during his second spell at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea will be the favourites to make it to Wembley, but they have been thwarted at the semi-final stage by their opponents before. It seems as though Liverpool need to have a lead to take to West London next week to really give them much hope of getting through next week, given how well fancied Mourinho's side are to win the competition.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch