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Nov 10, 2012

Rodgers wary of Chelsea threat

Brendan Rodgers is wary of the threat of Chelsea's trio of playmakers and admitted they will find space against his side on Sunday, no matter how well he organises his defence.

• Torres not alone in struggling at Reds and Blues
• Visit to Chelsea is just football
• Rodgers aims to lay first true marker

Liverpool travel to Stamford Bridge on Sunday with their manager describing Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar as "terrific talents".

Rodgers believes they are helping Roberto Di Matteo change Chelsea's style of play to make the European champions more entertaining.

"They are very dynamic and great technicians," he said. "They play with [Fernando] Torres through the middle and those three interchanging. They are three No. 10s, really, interchanging and [operating] between the lines.

"All three are big investments and terrific talents. Obviously Roberto is looking to improve the nature of their game and he has certainly done that with those three. We know the dangers they possess. It will be a good game."

Rodgers accepted it will not be easy to stop them, adding: "They are good players so it is always difficult. When you have world-class players, they will always find the space, you do all the work tactically to organise your team but the very, very top players will always find room around it."

Chelsea sit second in the Premier League, one point behind leaders Manchester United and Rodgers praised Di Matteo for ending the club's long wait to become European champions.

He said: "They have had a terrific start to the season. Roberto has done a terrific job, helped mastermind them win the Champions League which is something they had been trying to win for a number of years. They have invested heavily but brought in very good players so it is a tough game for us but we are really looking forward to it."

While Liverpool lost last season's FA Cup final to Chelsea, the Reds have won five of the last six meetings, leading Di Matteo to brand them their bogey team. "Hopefully it continues," said Rodgers.

He spent four years at Stamford Bridge as first the head youth coach and then the reserve-team manager after being hired by Jose Mourinho in 2004.

Rodgers said: "It was a great period to be involved. It was the beginning of a new era at the football club. There was a lot of investment but a lot of success in that period and the games against Liverpool in that period were fantastic."

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