Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson claims Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho secretly loves the Reds.

The Reds host the west London club in the first leg of the Capital One Cup semifinal at Anfield on Tuesday evening. The last time these two teams met at the same venue saw the Blues come from behind to win the tie 2-1.

Both Liverpool and Chelsea have a shot at winning the Capital One Cup this season, which would be their first chance of winning silverware. The former Reds defender believes winning the first trophy is always difficult.

Lawrenson feels the former Real Madrid manager will field a strong team as he claims that Brendan Rodgers' side have a good chance of winning the Capital One Cup if they manage to beat Chelsea in a two-legged semifinal tie.

"We all know Mourinho secretly loves us, and we know he loves to beat us. That's why I expect Chelsea to field a strong side for the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final. And Liverpool will have to follow suit," Lawrenson told the Liverpool Echo.

"Winning the first trophy is always the most difficult, and both Brendan Rodgers and this Jose Mourinho side are waiting to break their silverware duck. Plus, it's the small matter of two teams that don't like each other."

"I won't understand it if Rodgers rotates four or five players out of the team. Why wouldn't he want to win a cup?"

"With Tottenham Hotspur or Sheffield United waiting in the final, Liverpool have at the very least a 50-50 chance of winning the Capital One Cup if they get through. The competition has been good to us this season, with the win against Bournemouth a turning point," he added.

Meanwhile, the Anfield favourite believes the return of Adam Lallana will be a massive boost for Liverpool for the upcoming Capital One clash against Chelsea.

"Adam Lallana's early return is a bonus. I have always maintained he is someone who needs to play regularly. You can't rotate him. Lallana doesn't have half a yard of pace to get him out of a pickle," the former Liverpool defender said.

"Instead, he has great ability and good balance and, because of that, he needs to be at the peak of his condition and the only way to do that is by playing virtually every game."