Enrique: Reds will be ready

Less than 50 hours after the final whistle of an exhilarating but

energy-sapping 1-1 draw with Manchester City, Kenny Dalglish’s side

will run out again at Stamford Bridge. Changes to the starting

line-up are inevitable, but some of the players who featured at

Anfield on Sunday will be required as the Reds go in search of the

second victory over Chelsea, who have had an extra day’s rest, in

nine days. Spaniard Enrique admits it is a situation unique to

English football and one the squad have to deal with as best they

can. “If the manager decides I have to play I play,” the left-back

said. “The Premier League and Football League didn’t make a good

decision. “We played on Sunday and have to play in another 48

hours, whereas Chelsea played on Saturday. “This is not normal. It

is just happens in England. “It is no good for us because we play

against Chelsea away and it is hard to win, and normally when you

play 48 hours after a game you are more tired. “But there will be

no excuses. We can still win there and will try to get that win.”

Manager Kenny Dalglish launched an outspoken attack on the Premier

League, Football League and Sky television for their inflexibility

in not allowing one of their two matches to be rescheduled. When

hearing of the timings, the Scot even warned fans to carefully

consider buying tickets for the last-eight clash as he threatened

to field a youth team at Stamford Bridge. That, of course, will not

happen as the Carling Cup represents Liverpool’s best hope of

ending a trophy drought stretching back to their FA Cup win of

2006. And with confidence growing, and the squad showing more

strength in depth, even a number of changes to tomorrow’s line-up

will still pose a tough test for Chelsea, defeated 2-1 just over a

week ago. When Dalglish can bring in the likes of Maxi Rodriguez,

scorer of the first goal at Stamford Bridge the weekend before

last, £35million striker Andy Carroll, veterans Craig Bellamy

and Jamie Carragher, and highly-rated England Under-21

international Martin Kelly, there should be no concerns Liverpool

will be fielding a weakened side. The Reds boss has taken the

competition seriously ever since their first outing at League One

strugglers Exeter, and now is not the time to be making a protest

about fixture congestion. Liverpool can at least go into the match

on a high after coming the closest of any side to ending Manchester

City’s unbeaten start to the Barclays Premier League season. Had it

not been for the brilliant form of England goalkeeper Joe Hart,

Roberto Mancini’s side would have suffered their first defeat as,

after Joleon Lescott’s own goal had equalised Vincent Kompany’s

31st-minute header, Liverpool did most of the attacking. Hart

followed a trend set by Manchester United’s David de Gea, Norwich’s

John Ruddy and Swansea’s Michel Vorm in saving his best for Anfield

and ensuring his side left with a point. “I don’t know what’s

happening, we have been unlucky with goalkeepers here this season –

against Swansea and Norwich it was the same,” said Enrique. “I

think we have been really unlucky in many home games this season.

“I think we deserved to win the game.” A fourth successive home

draw meant that, although Liverpool are unbeaten at Anfield this

season, they have taken only 11 points from seven matches. But

their recent performances have been good and Enrique said that was

what players were drawing on. “It’s a lot of points we have lost

here but a draw at home to City is not bad,” he said. “In the last

two games we’ve played not just two of the best teams in England

but in the world. “We won at Chelsea and we deserved to beat City

as well, so that shows we can beat anyone. “We have an amazing

squad and we just have to try to keep improving. “We need a bit of

luck to turn draws into wins.”