Chelsea play Leeds in the Capital One cup quarter final tonight, with manager Neil Warnock hoping to come out on top of his long standing feud with Blues boss Rafa Benitez.

Warnock has never forgiven Benitez for fielding a weakened team against Fulham while Liverpool manager in 2007. Fighting a relegation battle, Fulham beat the Reds to stay up, condemning Warnock’s Sheffield United side to relegation.

When quizzed by reporters ahead of the game, Benitez said that he was hoping to focus on the football and avoid any spat with Warnock.

“Each one has his ideas about each one and I am a professional and I will try and do my job and not be involved in anything."

"I will say again I am professional so I will do my job and normally the league is about 38 games, not just one game. I'm a professional, I don't have any problem."

Chelsea come into this game off the back of a crushing 1-0 defeat to Corinthians in the Club World Cup final in Japan. Benitez admitted that jetting off across the world in the middle of a hectic Christmas schedule had left a danger that his players are running on empty.

"Yes we have played seven, with this one could be eight games in 24 days, so its not easy, especially when you have a new manager, you don't have time to prepare games and you have to play and go to Japan and come back, so quite difficult, but that is the situation and we have to manage the situation."

Tonight’s match at Elland Road will be the first time the two fierce rivals have met since May 2004, when Jesper Gronkjaer's goal gave Chelsea a 1-0 victory over a Leeds already relegated from the Premier League.

 

Written and presented by Alfred Joyner