Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Marseille v Liverpool

Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres are set to be fit for Liverpool's Champions League opener in Marseille on Tuesday.
Gerrard (groin) played 22 minutes in Liverpool's 2-1 win against Manchester United on Saturday but Torres (hamstring) was an unused substitute.
Fabio Aurelio is ruled out with a calf injury but Javier Mascherano (knee) is set to start and Lucas is in the squad.
Marseille should be at full strength with Mathieu Valbuena (groin) and Hatem Ben Arfa (knee) both expected to start.
The pair came on as substitutes in Marseille's 1-1 draw at Girondins Bordeaux on Saturday.
Valbuena's spectacular goal at Anfield gave Marseille a 1-0 victory over Liverpool in last year's group stage but he was also in the side beaten 4-0 by Rafael Benitez's men two months later.
"We're full of confidence and must not show any inferiority complex," said the 23-year-old.
"We have no reason to be fearful. Liverpool are the favourites in the group and it's a good thing to start against them."
Liverpool go into the game buoyed by their first league victory over United, the Premier League and European champions, since April 2004.
"We did well against Manchester United but we must be focused on the next game, and that is Marseille," said Benitez.
"We must not allow ourselves to get carried away. We played well on Saturday but the Champions League is different.
"We have talked to the players about putting Manchester United out of their minds and just concentrate on the future."
Last season Liverpool began their group stage campaign with a 1-1 draw against Porto and then lost at home to Marseille and away to Besiktas.
They responded with convincing wins against Besiktas and Porto at home but it was not until the final match, the 4-0 win in Marseille, that their place in the last 16 was secured. "We do not want be making as hard work of it as we did last season to get through the group stage," said Benitez.
"Marseille are a better team than last season
when we met them. They are more organised and more aggressive.
"But we want to win the first game, and continue it that way - if we can do things better from the start this time around, it will be better for my heart."
Torres will hope to be 100% fit for the trip to Atletico Madrid, his former club, where Liverpool play on 22 October.
Benitez, therefore, may pair Robbie Keane and Dirk Kuyt in attack at Stade Velodrome.
Marseille's new English signing Tyrone Mears had hoped to feature but will miss out, with first-choice defensive regular Laurent Bonnart preferred.

2 comments:

keywesthaven1@msn.com (Terry) said...

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Kawan!' said...

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