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Chelsea, Spurs and Man City miss out as Willian heads for Anzhi

Chelsea, Spurs and Man City miss out as Willian heads for Anzhi in 29m move from Shakhtar

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

17:14 GMT, 30 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:40 GMT, 30 January 2013

Big-spending Russians Anzhi Makhachkala are set to sign Shakhtar Donetsk forward Willian for 29million.

Willian was close to joining Chelsea last summer and the Londoners have been keeping a close eye on the Brazilian's situation ever since.

Manchester City and Tottenham are also known admirers but Anzhi look to have won the race for his signature.

Big-money move: Willian is set to join Anzhi in a 29m move from Shakhtar

Big-money move: Willian is set to join Anzhi in a 29m move from Shakhtar

The capture of Willian should soften the blow delivered by the loss of Christopher Samba.

The big defender has travelled to London to seal a 12.5m move to Queens Park Rangers after the Premier League strugglers met the release clause in his contract.

Anzhi boss Guus Hiddink hit out at Samba over the way he left.

The former Chelsea boss said: 'It's a shame to talk about this but he didn't even say goodbye, he didn't explain anything to us.

'Whatever happens to you, you should take into account the people with whom you work.'

QPR won"t sell players in January, says Harry Redknapp

Sell in January I can't afford to! QPR need all help they can get, says Harry

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UPDATED:

15:31 GMT, 28 December 2012

Harry Redknapp admits he can’t afford to offload any players in the January transfer window because QPR need all the help they can get.

QPR are rock bottom of the table and six points from safety after losing to West Brom on Boxing Day. Despite former manager Mark Hughes signing 12 new players in the summer, Redknapp is expected to bring in several new faces before the end of the window next month.

But the ex-Spurs boss denied that Sunday’s clash with Liverpool for some of his existing squad to prove themselves.

Not for sale: QPR boss Harry Redknapp insists he can't afford to sell any of his players during the January transfer windowNot for sale: QPR boss Harry Redknapp insists he can't afford to sell any of his players during the January transfer window

Not for sale: QPR boss Harry Redknapp insists he can't afford to sell any of his players during the January transfer window

‘I won’t be looking to get rid of anybody,’ said Redknapp.

‘On the bench the other day had a young kid there so we are certainly not overloaded. We’ve got some long term injuries, so I can’t be suddenly getting people out of here without getting some in. I’m not looking to shift people out quickly until I can get people in.’

He added: ‘I would not bring people in if I didn’t think they could do a job for us. There’s no point bringing players in for the sake of it. I have got to get people in the right positions who I think can help it. If I can’t I may as well sit tight.’

After a decent start that saw QPR pick up their first win of the season at home to Fulham after two draws, Redknapp’s side have now slumped to successive defeats. And after taking over at Portsmouth, Southampton and Spurs in similar positions, the 65-year-old believes saving the west Londoners from the drop is a much tougher proposition.

Rock bottom: QPR face a fight for survival in the Premier League

Rock bottom: QPR face a fight for survival in the Premier League

‘I didn’t expect it to happen quickly – you are talking about two different football clubs,' he said.

‘How Spurs were in that position in first place I will never know, but there was only eight games gone, and they had a fantastic squad. It’s different here, we had gone 13 games without a win, it was always going to be harder. No one has got a magic wand, I don’t care who you are, I have said it a million times in the past – you go to clubs and you change players around.

‘I knew it was going to be difficult. And it’s been no more difficult than I expected,’ Redknapp added.

‘But we are still in there, the transfer window is coming, if we can get one or two in, we give ourselves a chance still. That is where I am.’

Stephane Mbia blasted Jose Bosingwa over refusal to be a sub

'If the manager tells me to sit on the bench I will do it': Mbia blasts Bosingwa sub snub

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UPDATED:

23:47 GMT, 27 December 2012

QPR midfielder Stephane Mbia says he would never refuse to sit on the bench like his team-mate Jose Bosingwa did two weeks ago against Fulham.

But Mbia is hopeful that Bosingwa can resolve his dispute with manager Harry Redknapp as he believes the Portuguese right-back can aid QPR's bid to avoid relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

Bosingwa was absent from QPR's squad for the second successive game yesterday as he continues to pay the price for refusing to sit on the bench in the Londoners' derby against Fulham on December 15.

Mbia (left) said he would never refuse to be a substitute if asked to by his manager

Stephane Mbia (left) said he would never refuse to be a substitute if asked to

Redknapp fined Bosingwa two weeks' wages (130,000) before launching an angry tirade against the defender and some of his team-mates when the news of the fine emerged.

Despite some criticism from fans for his performances, Mbia thinks Bosingwa is a vital member of the R's squad, but he admits he would never have acted in the way that the Champions League winning full-back did a fortnight ago.

Jose Bosingwa (right) refused to be a substitute two weeks ago against Fulham and was fined two weeks' wages, 130,000

Jose Bosingwa (right) refused to be a substitute two weeks ago against Fulham and was fined two weeks' wages, 130,000

'If the manager tells me to sit on the bench I will do it,' Mbia said following QPR's 2-1 defeat at West Brom yesterday.

'It's up to the manager to make the decisions.

Snub: QPR boss Harry Rednknapp (right) left Bosingwa out of the squad against West Brom on Boxing Day

Snub: QPR boss Harry Rednknapp (right) left Bosingwa out of the squad against West Brom on Boxing Day

'If he wants you to sit on the bench you sit on the bench.

'It's a very difficult and complicated situation. Hopefully at the end of the day the club and player can sort it out as Jose is a very good player.'

Redknapp, a man with over 20 years' experience in management, clearly hoped that publicly berating some of the expensive imports brought in under Mark Hughes would spark them in to life.

To a certain extent the move worked. Despite losing the game yesterday – thanks largely to two very questionable decisions from referee Chris Foy – the likes of Mbia and Samba Diakite put on a much-improved display, although it is clear Redknapp needs to address his lack of firepower in the January transfer window.

Although QPR remain six points from safety, Redknapp has brought in six of the club's 10 points since he replaced Mark Hughes last month and Mbia remains convinced the former Tottenham manager will lead his new team out of the relegation zone.

'I believe in him. I believe he is the man to get us out of trouble,' Mbia said.

'It's up to the players to give 100 per cent, but the manager will give a lot to us.

'He will enable the players to give the best of themselves.

'He has helped me a lot already. He has try to make me a more intelligent player. He wants me to be more careful on the pitch so I don't pick up needless yellow and red cards.

'I definitely think we can stay up.

'The gaffer gives us so much confidence, he uses so many different words, I know we can do it.'

The right man for the job: Mbia believes that Redknapp is the right man to keep the Hoops in the division

The right man for the job: Mbia believes that Redknapp is the right man to keep the Hoops in the division

West Brom, on the other hand, could find themselves third in the table on Saturday afternoon if results go their way and they pull off a shock win at Manchester United.

Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku has played a big part in the Baggies' success this season, scoring six goals so far.

With Daniel Sturridge reported to be on his way to Liverpool next month, it has been claimed that Chelsea will recall the Belgian from his loan spell.

Impressive: West Brom could find themselves third in the table if results go their way on New Years Day

Impressive: West Brom could find themselves third in the table if results go their way on New Year's Day

Lukaku, who would have netted yesterday had it not been for two great saves from Robert Green, wants to stay and Albion defender Jonas Olsson hopes he remains at the Hawthorns too.

Olsson said: 'He has done very well for us. The reason I think we are where we are is because of the competition for places and with him, with Peter (Odemwingie), Marc-Antoine Fortune and Shane Long, I think there is a lot of competition there for places so I would very much like to keep him here.

'He is enjoying himself at training and in games at West Brom so when you do that you play good football.'

Form: Part of their surge up the table is thanks to the form of loanee Romelu Lukaku (right) form Chelsea, who has six goals

Form: Part of their surge up the table is thanks to the form of loanee Romelu Lukaku (right) form Chelsea, who has six goals

Rafa Benitez threatened to sue me the last time I crossed him, says Neil Warnock

Benitez threatened to sue me the last time I crossed him! Warnock reveals motivation ahead of Chelsea clash

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UPDATED:

09:41 GMT, 18 December 2012

Neil Warnock is looking forward to squaring up to Rafa Benitez as the last time they went head to head the Spaniard threatened to take him to court.

Warnock was Sheffield United manager in 2007 when he admitted he would 'never forgive' Benitez for picking what he deemed a weakened team in Liverpool's final away game of the season against Fulham.

The Blades needed Benitez's Reds to get a result against Fulham, who were in the relegation zone, but the Londoners won the game 1-0, a result which saw them survive at the expense of United.

Head to head: Rafa Benitez and Neil Warnock (right) have a history

Head to head: Rafa Benitez and Neil Warnock (right) have a history

Warnock's criticism of Benitez led to the Spaniard's legal team sending an email warning of possible legal action were he to be mentioned again.

Warnock, preparing his Leeds side to take on Benitez and Chelsea in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night, said: 'The last time I heard from Rafa he was threatening to sue me in an email if I mentioned it again.

'Enough water's passed under the bridge. I don't want to give you any more ammunition than you've already got.

'It's
one of those things that disappoints you in life and you have to get on
with it really, but you get disappointments in every walk of life and
I've made my feelings clear on how my feelings have been over the last
few years and nothing will change that.

Back on track Chelsea travel to Elland Road after a 1-0 loss to Corinthians

Back on track Chelsea travel to Elland Road after a 1-0 loss to Corinthians

'I
think it (the email) had his name on, I think it was his solicitor on
who was threatening legal action and I've got it in a scrapbook at home.

'I've no idea (if they will shake hands), I haven't thought about it yet, I was too worried about Ipswich (last Saturday).'

Warnock also believes there is no loyalty to managers in football, but has no regrets about turning down the Chelsea job in the early nineties to remain at Notts County for that very reason.

Ken Bates – Warnock's current chairman at Leeds – offered Warnock the job in 1991, but after guiding Notts County to the top flight following successive promotions, he decided to stay put. Warnock was sacked two years later.

'I don't have any regrets really because your life shapes around decisions really and I was a northern lad and I thought going beyond Watford was the end of the world in those days,' he said.

'I went down twice, once to the ground and once to Ken's farm in Beaconsfield and I was stuck on the motorway for five hours on both occasions and it didn't seem to be me really, so there are a lot of issues.

Game on: Warnock hasn't always seen eye to eye with Benitez but he thinks the Spaniard was right to take the Chelsea job

Game on: Warnock hasn't always seen eye to eye with Benitez but he thinks the Spaniard was right to take the Chelsea job

'I wanted to stay loyal to a group of players who had been fantastic for me.

'If it was a different way round, why do managers say loyal, you get the sack anyway, why not go and take the opportunity Good luck to you. I've nothing about this loyalty thing now. My advice to young managers is if you get the chance, go.

'You get kicked in the teeth if you stay so you can't win either way.'

After going through nine managers since Roman Abramovich bought the club from Bates in 2003, the Blues are seemingly the perfect example to illustrate Warnock's point.

Benitez has been hired as manager on
an interim basis until the end of the season, but with the Spaniard
being out of work since he left Inter in 2010 Warnock feels he was right
to accept the role.

'I don't blame Benitez for taking the job,' Warnock added before saying tongue-in-cheek.

'He'd been out of work for quite some time, if it were me I would be there like a shot.

'I
wish I could have had Chelsea now, yes, I should have got it this time!
After Roberto left, he hasn't had an Englishman in the job, has he'

Rafa Benitez says Chelsea"s players could be suffering from jet-lag at Club World Cup

Getting the excuses in already, Rafa Chelsea boss fears jet-lag could cost his Chelsea stars world glory

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UPDATED:

13:07 GMT, 12 December 2012

Rafa Benitez admits Mexican opponents Monterrey will be better prepared for Thursday's clash as his Chelsea players fight the effects of jet-lag and fatigue.

Monterrey will have been in Japan for 11 days by the time of Thursday’s tie against the European champions in Yokohama and have already played once.

The Londoners in contrast landed on late on Sunday, having sped around the world after Saturday’s win at Sunderland.

All smiles: Fernando Torres and Cesar go through a running exercise in training

All smiles: Fernando Torres and Cesar go through a running exercise in training

In good spirits: Eden Hazard and Gary Cahill laugh ahead of Thursday's game

In good spirits: Eden Hazard and Gary Cahill laugh ahead of Thursday's game

They trained inside the stadium on Wednesday but have focused most of their efforts on cleansing the travel and the time difference from their systems and seeking out information on the Mexican team, who beat Ulsan Hyundai of South Korea in the previous round.

'My main focus and that of my players, is to try and sleep more than four hours,' said Benitez. 'It’s quite difficult. We’ve tried to adapt to the time, the pitch, the ball, everything. It’s all a bit new, but we’ve done everything we have to do.

'We know their team. We have staff who have collected videos and I’ve watched some of their games too. We think they’re a good team. They can play the passing game, they like to play it on the floor and move it easily, but can also play direct.

Serious business: Frank Lampard looks focused in training

Serious business: Frank Lampard looks focused in training

Keeping warm: Ashley Cole wears a snood in training

Keeping warm: Ashley Cole wears a snood in training

'It will be an interesting test for us. We need to check the tempo of the game and whether, physically, they can manage, but they are tactically a good team and can play different formations and shapes, which means their coach is doing a good job.'

Benitez gave little away about his own tactical plans, other than to joke with Japanese reporters who quizzed him on the whereabouts of owner Roman Abramovich.

Talking a good game: Rafael Benitez addresses the Chelsea players in training

Talking a good game: Rafael Benitez addresses the Chelsea players in training

Job to do: Benitez talks to Torres and David Luiz during training

Job to do: Benitez talks to Torres and David Luiz during training

'He is not coming, not at the moment,' said Chelsea’s interim manager. 'Maybe we will receive a message. He is following the team all the time and we have people here from the club.

'I’m not considering playing Abramovich at centre-forward. I'd prefer Fernando Torres.

'The players that are here, they’re all available. Everything is fine. When you change the manager, the players want to prove to the new manager they should be picked every game. That was the situation in the last two games, where we created more chances and that was good for the confidence of the players.

The race is on: Juan Mata is chased by Lampard

The race is on: Juan Mata is chased by Lampard

A brave new world: Petr Cech and Branislav Ivanovic inspect the new goal line technology during a training session

A brave new world: Petr Cech and Branislav Ivanovic inspect the new goal line technology during a training session

'Oriol Romeu’s injury was bad news and we weren’t expecting something so serious. He will be fine for the future. He is a young player. John Terry is training, running. We have to wait. With inflammation of the knee, you have to be careful. In January, the club is working and always looking for good players, so we'll see if there are any surprises.'

Benitez was reluctant to look beyond the semi-final against Monterrey and consider the idea of being crowned world champions on Sunday should they beat Corinthians in the final, but he is in Japan with the intention of claiming the title.

'It’s a very important tournament,' said Benitez. 'In the past, I had two opportunities to participate this tournament so I know the meaning of it. It’s important for Concacaf and South America, but some of my players have said it’s a dream to play in this tournament.

'The first thing is to beat Monterrey if we want to be in the final. If we win, maybe we’ll deserve to win. I’ll pick players to win the first game. You cannot think about the final until you’ve won the semi-final.'

Avram Grant rules out Chelsea return

I've got other things to do, says Avram as he snubs return to Chelsea with Benitez

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UPDATED:

16:12 GMT, 6 December 2012

Avram Grant has ruled out returning to Chelsea to either replace or work alongside interim manager Rafa Benitez.

The Spaniard has been under fire since his controversial appointment at Stamford Bridge last month, with his unpopularity amongst fans in large part down to comments he made about the west Londoners and their fans whilst Liverpool boss.

Benitez has hardly done much to inspire faith with two draws and a defeat in his opening three Barclays Premier League games – scoring just one goal in that time – to slip 10 points behind leaders Manchester United.

Not on: Avram Grant (right) won't be replacing or working with Rafa Benitez

Not on: Avram Grant (right) won't be replacing or working with Rafa Benitez

There are already reports that owner Roman Abramovich is looking to replace Benitez but Grant shot down rumours linking him with a return to the club he guided to the Champions League final in 2008 and added the former Valencia boss needs to be fully supported by the Blues.

'Nobody from Chelsea has offered me this job,' the Israeli told BBC Radio 5 Live.

'I heard a rumour but I think this is not what's important. What's important is Chelsea have a manager and the club need to support him and not look for any other things.'

When asked if he would consider working alongside Benitez, Grant responded: 'I don't think it's the right idea for the moment. I don't like to speak about myself now because I have other things to do at this stage.

'I think Benitez is a very experienced coach and manager and I don't think a few weeks after they give him the job he will leave and I don't think it will be right.

'He needs to use all experience to take the club in a different direction and they need to do everything to support him and not to look around.'

Off the mark: Fernando Torres scored as Benitez registered a first victory

Off the mark: Fernando Torres scored as Benitez registered a first victory

Benitez did at least claim his first victory with the Blues although a 6-1 Champions League win over FC Nordsjaelland was not enough to seal a passage to the knockout stages following Juventus' 1-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Chelsea instead became the first holders of the Champions League crown to drop out of the tournament at the group stage.

Grant, who was last in charge of Partizan Belgrade, believes Chelsea need to carry on winning in order to convince the club's supporters Benitez is the man for the job.

'Any winning is good and what Rafa needs is a good win and good football really to convince the supporters that they need to support him,' he added.

'But I think more than this the club needs to support him then it will be easy for him because it's not easy times for Chelsea.'

Harry Redknapp will try to keep Queens Park Rangers up

Redknapp: If I get QPR out of this mire it'll be the best achievement of my career

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UPDATED:

23:58 GMT, 2 December 2012

Harry Redknapp says helping QPR stave off relegation would be the greatest achievement of his long career.

The 65-year-old was appointed at the Loftus Road helm a week-and-a-half ago with the remit of keeping the Hoops in the Premier League.

It is a big ask for Redknapp with the west Londoners languishing bottom of the table, while their winless start to the season extended to 15 matches with Saturday's 1-1 home draw with Aston Villa.

Mire: Harry Redknapp took the job at rock bottom QPR

Mire: Harry Redknapp took the job at rock bottom QPR

Asked if keeping QPR up would be his biggest achievement, he said: 'Of course, absolutely from where we are. We will try. It is going to be hard.

'I've taken a big task on here. I know what I've taken on, I'm not a fool. It's going to be difficult but you can only give it your best.'

Redknapp is not new to such a situation and has masterminded several previous relegation escapes, although he failed to do so with Southampton seven years ago.

'It always creates anxiety when you're bottom of the league and can't get a win,' the QPR boss said.

'Football is like life – it is about confidence. When things are going well, you win games and you don't know how you won. You come off thinking “we were rubbish today but we won again”.

Nightmare start: Brett Holman put fellow strugglers Aston Villa a goal up at Loftus Road

Nightmare start: Brett Holman put fellow strugglers Aston Villa a goal up at Loftus Road

Hopeful: Redknapp says he and his players will try to beat the drop

Hopeful: Redknapp says he and his players will try to beat the drop

'Sometimes, like we are at the moment, you play well but you can't get the win and that's how it goes.

'They have shown a good attitude. They've trained hard, worked hard.

'They've all been good, they're good lads. We just need a win, don't we

'We could have got that win on Saturday with a bit of luck. Clint Hill's header I thought was dropping in and if that goes in it's a different game.

Bright spark: Shaun Wright-Phillips was in good form

Bright spark: Shaun Wright-Phillips was in good form

'We would be back in there, chasing the pack, but we couldn't quite get those three points.'

Shaun Wright-Phillips was recalled to the starting line-up against Villa and produced a far better display than many previously seen in a QPR shirt.

'I think confidence is the key for him,' Redknapp said. 'He has to play with confidence.

'He made some good runs and great ones in the first half, where he should have scored and then hit the post.

'But he bent his runs in off the line and looked lively. He has done well in training and I gave him a chance.'

Adkins: Players should take credit, but pressure is still on after win at QPR

Adkins: Players should take credit, but pressure is still on after win at QPR

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UPDATED:

21:33 GMT, 17 November 2012

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins
heaped praise on his players after their win over fellow strugglers QPR
but admitted that he remains under pressure.

The visitors completely outplayed Mark Hughes' team to move four points clear of the west Londoners.

But with his side still facing an uphill battle to stay in the top flight, Adkins refused to get carried away.

Still pressure: But Southampton boss Nigel Adkins was please with his team's work

Still pressure: But Southampton boss Nigel Adkins was please with his team's work

'In the Premier League, you're always going to get the media attention and whether you're at the top or the bottom, it is only going to intensify,' he said.

'Every game brings its own pressures, its own demands.'

Asked if he thought the win helped to relieve the pressure on his own position, Adkins added: 'I am a manager in the Premier League.

'You guys (the media) are always going to keep the pressure on everybody.

'Today was a good performance again and it shows a good, growing maturity about the players.

'You could see again that we have players maturing all the time. There were some really good performances.

'We had a good defensive shape today. We know we can score goals and there is a confidence growing all the time among the players.'

Liverpool need patience, says Brendan Rodgers

Patience key to success for this Liverpool team, says under-fire Rodgers

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UPDATED:

13:47 GMT, 10 November 2012

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is convinced the good results will soon start to flow for his side.
The Reds have looked impressive at times under the guidance of new boss Rodgers but that is yet to translate into points in the Barclays Premier League.

After 10 games, Liverpool remain in the bottom half with just two wins to their name and 11 points, their chief problem having been goalscoring.

The Merseysiders have struck only 13 times and seven of those have come from talisman Luis Suarez, who is presently their only fit and available established striker.

Stuttering start: Liverpool are made a poor start to the season under Rodgers

Stuttering start: Liverpool are made a poor start to the season under Rodgers

Rodgers is well aware of the problem and has stressed he is just as concerned about results as he appears to be about the stylish way his team plays.

Rodgers said: 'The bottom line is results every week.

'I look at the result and there is absolutely no doubt we are in the business of winning. It is not the case where I override the result.

'But I am very optimistic in my professional life, I tend to take a lot of good aspects out the performance and break those down and analyse which is important, and improve the areas where we need to.

'I don't think there is a lot wrong with our game, that is the brutal honesty of it. We are up there with the top four teams in the country in terms of creating chances.

'The clear area we need to improve on is finishing, and getting the goals to finish off our approach play. I will never forget that.

'But if you are performing well, nine times out of 10 you will get a good result.'

Liverpool face a stern test this weekend as they travel to one of the country's form teams in Chelsea.
Although the Londoners were beaten by Manchester United a fortnight ago and then lost top spot after being held by Swansea last week, their attacking play has been formidable.

New signings Oscar and Eden Hazard have linked well with Juan Mata while former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres has struck seven times.

Rodgers said: 'Traditionally Stamford Bridge is a very difficult place to go and get a result but we are going there with great confidence.

'We know the offensive threats they have but our concentration will be on our own game.

'We have some really top players here that can hurt any opponent on a given day. That will be the objective. For us it is about collecting the points and collecting as many as we can.

Final preparations: Liverpool face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this weekend

Final preparations: Liverpool face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this weekend

Final preparations: Liverpool face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this weekend

'Whether that is at Chelsea or wherever, it doesn't matter. We just look to keep our performance level up because it has been at a good level.'

Rodgers will revert to a more familiar line-up after resting a number of his leading lights for Thursday's Europa League clash against Anzhi Makhachkala in Moscow.

The likes of Suarez, Steven Gerrard, Joe Allen, Nuri Sahin, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger and Raheem Sterling were not required to travel to Russia.

England right-back Glen Johnson, who has often been deployed by Rodgers on the left, is also set to return against his former club after a fortnight out with a hamstring injury.

Johnson, who has also been named in England's squad for next week's friendly in Sweden, does get criticised for his defensive work but Rodgers holds him in the highest regard.

He said: 'I can only think of Daniel Alves and Glen Johnson as the two leading full-backs in world football.

'For me he is one of the top right-backs in the world, but has operated a lot at left-back and been outstanding. That shows the level of his game.'

Bouncing back: The Reds were defeated in midweek by Anzhi

Bouncing back: The Reds were defeated in midweek by Anzhi

Liverpool are actually now well served at right-back with Andre Wisdom breaking through this season in a position in which Martin Kelly and Jon Flanagan have also impressed.

That has in part influenced Johnson's switch to the left, where Jose Enrique has not always been in favour.

First-choice goalkeeper Jose Reina is also back in training after a hamstring injury but the game may come a week too soon for him.

Rodgers has fond memories of Chelsea after working on their coaching staff under recent managers Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant and Luiz Felipe Scolari.

The Northern Irishman said: 'I had some terrific experiences there both professionally and personally.

'I was privileged to part of a really exciting era at the club at the time. It was certainly those experiences that set me up for a career in management.'

Tottenham Hotspur scouting West Ham striker Andy Carroll for summer switch

Could Carroll be the answer for misfiring Spurs Tottenham scouting West Ham's on-loan striker with view to summer move

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UPDATED:

10:49 GMT, 6 November 2012

Tottenham are monitoring Andy Carroll’s form at West Ham as the White Hart Lane club consider strengthening their own attacking options.

The 23-year-old England striker is on loan from Liverpool with the option of a permanent 17million deal next summer.

Spurs would be unable to swoop for Carroll in January due to regulations preventing players appearing for more than two teams during the same domestic season. The North Londoners are, however, considering a summer move for the England striker should he build on his impressive start at Upton Park.

Sportsmail understands that Tottenham scouts have been impressed with the Geodie's commanding displays since his shock loan move from Anfield and, should he begin to add goals to his performances, Carroll could be the subject of firmer interest at the end of the season.

Try as he might: Andy Carroll is yet to score for West Ham, but Spurs are keen

Try as he might: Andy Carroll is yet to score for West Ham, but Spurs are keen

Try as he might: Andy Carroll is yet to score for West Ham, but Spurs are interested

However, Liverpool are open to offers as they look to finance further rebuilding in January.

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has Jermain Defoe and the unsettled Emmanuel Adebayor but is exploring options.

The Portuguese manager came in for fierce criticism from Spurs fans on Saturday when he swapped one striker for another with his side chasing the game.

As Defoe made his exit straight down the tunnel in the 57th-minute, boos rang out around White Hart Lane.

Summer signing Adebayor was returning to the squad after missing the past three games with illness and a back injury.

The Togolese striker has only played five times this season and is yet to start a match, with Villas-Boas preferring to play Defoe up front alone with three attacking midfielders behind him.

Frustrations: Spurs fans were unhappy when Emmanuel Adebayor replaced Jermain Defoe like-for-like with the team 1-0 down at home to Wigan

Frustrations: Spurs fans were unhappy when Emmanuel Adebayor replaced Jermain Defoe like-for-like with the team 1-0 down at home to Wigan

Later, Villas-Boas would not rule out playing Defoe and Adebayor up top together in future, saying: 'It's not impossible we will play with two strikers. We've seen that it can work.

'In the games when Adebayor was available he showed the quality striker that he is. We have him fit now and hopefully ready for the upcoming games.'