Benitez: My aim is to beat Liverpool on Anfield return

Even though the 53-year-old Chelsea boss still retains close ties with the Merseyside outfit, that won’t stop him from trying to beat the Reds

Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez admitted he still has fond feelings about former club Liverpool ahead of their clash on Sunday, but that he is only focused on securing all three points when the two sides meet.

The 53-year-old will make his first managerial return to Anfield, where he coached Liverpool for six years before leaving in 2010, with his current club still chasing a top four place.

Having recently admitted that the prospect of returning to manage on Merseyside appeals to him, Benitez refused to play down the regard with which he holds Liverpool, but stated he will be strictly professional in trying to do his best for Chelsea on the day.

“Liverpool is where my family live now. I have been there for six years and have very good memories,” Benitez told reporters.

“I cannot hide that I am really pleased to be going there to see a lot of old friends. I have not been thinking too much about Sunday.

“The main thing is to stay in the top three and what I want is to win at Liverpool. And after, I wish them all the best and if they can win all their games until the end of the season, that will be fantastic.

“But as a professional, I am sure they will try to win and we will try to win.”

Having dispatched Fulham 3-0 at Craven Cottage on Wednesday evening, Chelsea remain in pole position to qualify for the Champions League next season, something which pleases Benitez greatly.

He added: “They are difficult matches but we have quality. If you ask them [Chelsea’s opponents] they will say it’s a difficult match because they are playing Chelsea.

“We must have confidence and belief and hopefully we can stay up there. The race for the top four will be until the end of the season.

“If we continue winning and they [Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton] keep on winning, those games against Tottenham and Everton will be even more important.”

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