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up for a duel

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is looking forward to locking horns with former mentor Jose Mourinho once again - this time with a Wembley place at stake.

Rodgers takes his Liverpool side to Stamford Bridge for the second leg of their League Cup semi-final tonight and has high hopes of getting one over the Portuguese.

That was something he failed to achieve last season, most notably as the Reds slipped up at the Londoners' hands in the Premier League run-in in April, suffering a defeat that proved costly to their title chances.

Rodgers, who worked as Mourinho's assistant during his first spell in charge at Chelsea, was also beaten at Anfield in November but last week's 1-1 first-leg draw has offered hope.

"I always say it is about the teams on the field.

"But knowing him, and how Jose works and how competitive he is, I really enjoy the challenge," said Rodgers, 42, who coincidentally shared a birthday with Mourinho, 10 years his senior, on the eve of the match.

"The game last week was fantastic, it was a top-level game. We were at a really good level.

"Jose's record speaks for itself. He is a world-class manager and will always have that competitive edge. Your teams have to be at the maximum to get a result.

"We respect the opponent but we have got nothing to fear in the game. We are a team that is in a good moment. We are playing well, working well. We know we can go there and win."

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