Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez focused on game for Anfield return
Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez is confident of a good reception from Liverpool fans, but is determined that his first return to Anfield on Sunday will not be clouded by sentiment.
But he maintains the match is all about Premier League points.
Benitez's Liverpool career
June 2004 - Leaves Valencia to replace Gerard Houllier at Liverpool
May 2005 - Liverpool beat AC Milan on penalties to win the Champions League final
May 2006 - Liverpool beat West Ham on penalties to win the FA Cup
May 2007 - Liverpool are beaten 2-1 by Milan in the Champions League final
May 2009 - Liverpool finish runners-up to Manchester United in the Premier League
May 2010 - Liverpool finish seventh in the Premier League - their worst league finish since 1999
3 June 2010 - Benitez leaves Liverpool by mutual consent
"I have a lot of friends and memories from my time at Liverpool but I'll try to concentrate on the game," he said.
"You need to use your common sense. I am committed to Chelsea and to achieving our targets.
"Obviously, I was at Liverpool for six years and we won a lot of trophies, so I hope the fans appreciate that. However, they will also understand that I am their opponent on Sunday and they will support their own team."
Benitez guided Liverpool to semi-final victories over Chelsea on the way to winning the Champions League in 2005 and the FA Cup in 2006, as well as overcoming the Blues in the Champions League last four in 2007.
It led to a rivalry between the two clubs, particularly Benitez and then Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
A section of Blues supporters have refused to accept Benitez as manager since he was named as an interim replacement for Roberto Di Matteo in November last year.
But the Spaniard, who had a brief spell as Inter Milan manager after leaving Liverpool, is adamant his only focus is on guiding Chelsea to third place.
He added: "It's good if the rivalry between the two clubs remains on the pitch because it means both are successful. It will be a tough game; Liverpool create a lot of chances and we will need to be strong in defence.
"We need to carry on winning because that will keep us in the driving seat to finish third."