Having eliminated Liverpool FC in last season's semi-final, John Terry insists Chelsea FC have lost the fear factor of visiting Anfield in the UEFA Champions League. "We know exactly what to expect," said the captain.
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Captain John Terry insists Chelsea FC have lost the fear factor of visiting Anfield in the UEFA Champions League as this year's quarter-final first leg chalks up their fifth trip to face Liverpool FC in the past five seasons.
Terry was on the wrong end of semi-final defeats on Merseyside in 2005 and 2007, while a 1-1 draw at the same stage last season paved the way for a 4-3 aggregate win at Stamford Bridge. Looking ahead to Wednesday's game, Terry said: "Their fans are going to play a big part and we need to approach the first 15 minutes of the game in the right way. Coming up against Liverpool so many times in the bigger stages of the competition was intimidating but now we are very much used to that. We know exactly what to expect and it's down to us as a group of players to go out there and do the business on the field."
Like team-mates Nicolas Anelka and Ashley Cole, Terry is a caution away from a one-match suspension, but he says that will not compromise his no-nonsense style against Liverpool. "I'll play just the same as I did in the last game against Juventus [in the first knockout round]. I'll deal with that in my own way and if there's a ball to be won, as a player and a defender for Chelsea, I have to go and win the ball," the 28-year-old said. "You can't go into the game thinking negatively about that. A yellow card will come if you make a bad tackle, but I'm obviously hoping not to make any."
His job will be made no less easy by the fact that he has to deal with Liverpool's formidable attacking players. "Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard are up there with the very best in the world," continued Terry, whose winning goal for England against Ukraine last week was created by a Gerrard knock-down. "Stevie links well from midfield and bombs on in behind the defence. Torres poses a great threat to all defenders and we've seen over the last two years that he is definitely one of the best in the world. As a defence we have to be very organised and try not to focus on one player more than the other because if we focus too much on Stevie, Torres will do the damage, and it could go the same the other way. Collectively we have to play a big part and try and keep them at bay."
Terry's missed penalty against Manchester United FC in last season's final in Moscow cost Chelsea their chance of winning the UEFA Champions League and he still has to deal with the daily torment of that shoot-out disappointment. "I'm very determined to go the extra step this year and win the trophy but the memory of what happened last year will live with me forever, no doubt about that," conceded the centre-back. "One thing that can make that pain ease a little bit is to win this trophy and with the manager and the team that we have at the moment we've got a great chance to do that."