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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Champions League Refs And Liveprool Vs Inter And Olympiacos Vs Chelsea News

Champions League: The Referees

Liverpool FC vs Internazionale - Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium)
AS Roma Vs Real Madrid CF - Herbert Fandel (Germany)
Olympiacos CFP Vs Chelsea FC - Konrad Plautz (Austria)
FC Schalke 04 Vs FC Porto - Laurent Duhamel (France)
Arsenal FC Vs AC Milan - Claus Bo Larsen (Denmark)
Celtic FC VS FC Barcelona - Peter Fröjdfeldt (Sweden)
Fenerbahçe SK Vs Sevilla FC - Florian Meyer (Germany)
Olympique Lyon Vs Manchester United - Luís Medina Cantalejo (Spain)

TEAM NEWS - Liverpool Vs Inter Milan


Pepe Reina, Steven Gerrard, Javier Mascherano and Fernando Torres were all rested at the weekend and will all start on Tuesday. Rafa Benítez will certainly name what he believes is his very strongest side for this encounter, and only has Daniel Agger (foot) and Andriy Voronin (ankle) out injured. Likely XI (4-4-2): Reina - Finnan, Carragher, Skrtel, Arbeloa - Benayoun, Gerrard, Mascherano, Babel - Crouch, Torres

Inter Milan

Luis Jimenez is injured and will miss out, while Inter's doctors must check on the progress of Luis Figo. Roberto Mancini rested some players during the Livorno game, so the likes of Materazzi, Ibrahimovic and Cruz should all earn recalls. The coach is unsure what to do about Patrick Vieira, however, and might opt to leave him on the bench as he's lacking match practice. Cesar is suspended. Likely XI: (4-4-2): Júlio Cesar - Maicon, Cordoba, Materazzi, Maxwell - Zanetti, Cambiasso, Stankovic, Chivu - Ibrahimovic, Cruz


Liverpool – Fernando Torres has been at Anfield for less than a season, but he’s already one of the key men in Rafa Benítez’ side. It’s simple: when the striker doesn’t play, Liverpool lack cutting edge up front. The Reds smashed in more goals than any other team in the Champions League group stages, but have struggled to find the net of late. Torres’ pace and accuracy in front of goal are vital if Liverpool are to eradicate the recent profligacy which has cost them dear.

Inter – Julio Cruz Former Inter manager Roy Hodgson says he’s the key and so do we. The striker has developed from a bit-part player at the Giuseppe Meazza to one of the Nerazzurri’s star men. Cruz has scored 15 goals in 19 games this season and if Liverpool’s defence show the same indecisions as against Barnsley they can expect the veteran Argentine to pounce.


It should be a fascinating tie, at times more chess than free-flowing football. The ability of each side to put away the few chances they get will be decisive.

TEAM NEWS - Olympiacos Vs Chelsea FC

Olympiacos has been without Didier Domi since 3rd October with a thigh injury, Raúl Bravo since 6th November (Achilles), Michalis Konstantinou since 25th January (groin), Lomana LuaLua since 27th January (foot). But Júlio César returned on Saturday from a thigh problem, while Konstantinou, Domi and LuaLua have all resumed training. The former Newcastle and Portsmouth forward, LuaLua, could feature against Chelsea, Lemonis saying on Saturday that the next training session would determine whether he could play on Tuesday. During the January transfer window, Olympiakos signed Fernando Belluschi from River Plate, Leonardo from Portuguesa and Mirnes Šišic from Levadiakos. All three have all been added to the club's revised list of players registered for the Champions League duty. But 15-year old Kyriakos Papadopoulos has been taken off the list, along with Marko Né and Archubi, who left Olympikos during January.

Squad: Goalkeepers - 1 Leonidas Panagopoulos, 71 Antonios Nikopolidis, 87 Michalis Sifakis Defenders -2 Christos Patsatzoglou, 3 Didier Domi, 4 Leonardo, 5 Júlio César, 14 Michał Żewłakow, 15 Raúl Bravo, 18 Paraskevas Antzas, 30 Anastasios Pantos, 5 Vassilis Torosidis Midfielders-6 Ieroklis Stoltidis, 11 Predrag Djordjević, 19 Konstantinos Mendrinos, 22 Konstantinos Mitroglou, 25 Fernando Belluschi, 28 Cristián Raúl Ledesma, 77 Mirnes Šišić Forwards - 7 Luciano Galletti, 9 Darko Kovačević, 10 Leonel Núñez, 20 Lefteris Matsoukas, 23 Michalis Konstantinou, 32 Lomana LuaLua.

Chelsea John Terry, out since 16th December with broken metatarsals, returned on Saturday. Andriy Shevchenko, out since 26th December with a back problem, also returned as a substitute, but has stayed behind in London to work on his fitness. Didier Drogba, back after African Nations Cup duty, missed training last week as well as the Huddersfield game with a knee problem but travelled to Athens, as did Michael Ballack, who is also carrying a slight injury. The Blues have added Ballack and recent signing Nicolas Anelka to their Champions League roster, in place of Claudio Pizarro and Steve Sidwell. And as well as Drogba, Grant has welcomed back John Obi Mikel, Salomon Kalou and Michael Essien from their exploits in Ghana from the African tournament. Essien played every minute of hosts Ghana's six games, scoring in the victories against Morocco and Nigeria, while Drogba scored three goals in his six matches and netted Kalou three times in five games.

Squad:Goalkeepers - 1 Petr Čech, 23 Carlo Cudicini, 40 Hilário Defenders - 3 Ashley Cole, 6 Ricardo Carvalho, 18 Wayne Bridge, 20 Paulo Ferreira, 22 Tal Ben Haim, 26 John Terry, 33 Alex, 35 Juliano Belletti, 41 Sam Hutchinson Midfielders - 4 Claude Makelele, 5 Michael Essien, 8 Frank Lampard, 10 Joe Cole, 12 John Obi Mikel, 13 Michael Ballack, 15 Florent Malouda, 24 Shaun Wright-Phillips. 42 Lee Sawyer Forwards - 7 Andriy Shevchenko, 11 Didier Drogba, 21 Salomon Kalou, 39 Nicolas Anelka.



Serbian striker Darko Kovacevic 34, is the top scorer in the Greek Super League with 15 goals, including six in Olympiakos' last nine matches. He alo scored three goals in six games during the group stage of the current Champions League campaign. That took his overall tally to six goals in Champions League games, although he has notched 25 in 42 competitive European games throughout his career. Kovacevic, who will be the main goal threat to Chelsea, recently added 12 months on to his existing contract, tying himself to Olympiakos until June 2009.


England midfielder Frank Lampard reached a milestone at the weekend. His first goal in Chelsea's 3-1 FA Cup win was his 100th, and the second his 101st for Chelsea, whom he joined from West Ham United in 2001. He has now made 353 appearances for the Blues, and manager Avram Grant declared: "I don't think there are many midfielders who can score so many goals. More importantly, he's a player who knows how to give assists as well as score goals. He is a very good player. He deserves to score 100 goals and more, maybe he will score 200, I don't know." He is yet to score in this season's Champions League campaign, but has scored 11 in his career (and 17 in all competitive European games).


Olympiakos have enjoyed an excellent Champions League campaign to date - their best for nine years - and will be desperate to give a good account of themselves on Tuesday in the intimidating atmosphere of their own stadium. But they will find Chelsea resolute and battle-hardened opponents. Back in 1998-99, Juventus ended their hopes in the first knock-out round, and Chelsea are favourites to progress this time over two legs.But Chelsea have too much quality and with no injury problems trouble is the word for Olympiakos.

Olympiacos 0 - 3 Chelsea