Benitez looking forward to Liverpool return

Interim Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez is poised for an emotional first return to Anfield as an opposing manager since he left Liverpool in the summer of 2010.

According to Sky Sports, Benitez admitted that Merseyside is still his home and he will never forget the support of the Kop, but he still plans a Blues victory in their Premier League meeting on Sunday.

He said: “I am a professional and that is what I have to do. I cannot forget the time I spent there and the feeling, the atmosphere, the success, the link with the fans and the city – it is my home – but I will try to win. That is what I have to do.

This will be quite emotional but I have to concentrate. It will not be easy when you see so many friends around but I will try to concentrate on the game.

The players have to believe I can manage the situation and give them help if they need it. Normally, I am not too emotional but now I’m getting older it happens sometimes.

Benitez has coached against Liverpool before. He spearheaded Valencia to a Champions League victory at Anfield in October 2002, but that was before his glory days at Liverpool, which included winning the FA Cup in 2006 and the Champions League in Istanbul in 2005. Despite his current London connections, Benitez’s family still live in the area.

His feud with former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho hasn’t been forgotten by many Blues supporters, which has led to regular public hostility at Stamford Bridge since his appointment in November.

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