Friday, July 20, 2007


Steven Gerrard today insisted the Reds are in great shape for a Barclays Premier League challenge this season.
The Liverpool skipper admits he is delighted with Rafael Benitez's summer recruits and believes the arrivals of Fernando Torres, Yossi Benayoun, Andriy Voronin and Ryan Babel will aid the club's quest to finally end their long wait for English football's biggest prize, "I've watched what the other teams are doing in the transfer market and they're all strengthening," said the skipper. "But all those teams will be looking at us and thinking we are going to be all over them this season. "I'm not going to start making any unnecessary predictions about what's going to happen this season, and the last thing any of us needs to do is build up hopes too much. "But without doubt, if we all perform to our level each week then we have the players to push United and Chelsea all the way. "We are looking in great shape, not only going into this season but for the next few years. I thought going away for the summer that we were three or four players away from where we need to be. "We are in a great place to challenge United and Chelsea and I hope if we get things right from the beginning we can beat them to the big prizes this year." The Reds are currently preparing for the new season at their Swiss training camp and Gerrard believes the fact the manager already has his new signings on board will only boost their chances of a successful campaign. "Previous years have shown how important it is to sort everything out early, because it's not easy for new players if they're arriving just before the deadline," he said. "It makes it harder to settle. It's important we get off to a good start and that's going to be easier if we have everyone here as soon as possible. "I've liked the way we've done business this summer. We've got the likes of Voronin, Torres, Babel and Benayoun coming in to do the business and then players like Leiva who add depth and put pressure on the other players. Record signing Torres is expected to make his full debut for the Reds against Auxerre tomorrow afternoon and Gerrard admits he is looking forward to seeing the Spanish striker wreak havoc on opposing defences this year. "When we sign a striker I look at the defensive pairings of United and Chelsea and ask if we've signed a player who is going to cause them all sorts of problems," he said. "I did it with Torres and ended up with a smile on my face because I don't think anyone will enjoy playing against him."

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