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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Liverpool Team News

Torres ready to shoot down Gunners

In-form Liverpool striker Fernando Torres is full of confidence and has Arsenal in his sights in tomorrow's Champions League quarter-final.
The Spain international has scored 11 goals in his last 10 matches - including the winner in Sunday's Merseyside derby - and has found the net four times in his previous four European outings.
Torres has 28 goals for the season and would dearly like to score at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow to give Liverpool an important advantage heading into the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final.
'The first game at the Emirates will be very difficult. The most important thing is to score - if we score it is very good for the Anfield game but Arsenal play very well and it is very difficult to win,' he said.
'They won a very difficult game on Saturday (beating Bolton 3-2 with 10 men) but we have confidence again now and we have the confidence to go and win against Arsenal.'
The team produced the perfect response to the defeat to Manchester United a week last Sunday by claiming derby day bragging rights thanks to Torres' solitary strike.


And that goal, which saw him become only the fifth player in the club's history to score in six successive home games, has boosted the Spaniard ahead of tomorrow's crucial encounter.
'Whenever you have a bad result, you need a big game with a good result,' added the 24-year-old. 'Every player is over the Manchester United result and the important thing is to win.
'Now we have an important game coming against Arsenal and six games in the league.'
If there is anything Torres needs to add to what has been a stunning debut season in England it is the ability to score regularly away from home.
So far 19 of his 21 league goals have come at Anfield, with 15 of those coming in front of the Kop.
Torres admits he is more comfortable playing at home but cannot explain why.
'I always feel confident that I can score at Anfield. I've got 19 Premier League goals here now which is fantastic for me, and I seem to score most of those in front of the Kop,' he said.
'I don't know why that is, but I'm always scoring at that end. It must be something about the stand, it is just different. I always feel confident when I'm facing that end of the pitch.'
Despite the majority of Torres' goals coming at home, Liverpool's legendary record goalscorer Ian Rush believes the Spaniard has the necessary credentials to become feared across Europe.
'Torres has something that can make him really special,' said Rush. 'When you've got pace and can kick with both feet, like he can, you are always going to cause the opposition problems.
'Defenders don't actually know which foot he is going to kick with. That's what makes him special. He has been a revelation.'




Rush believes Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez will play his usual tactical game against Arsenal and will probably look to win the tie back at Anfield.
'I think the game will be really tight and Liverpool will have the advantage simply because of the second leg,' he told uefa.com.
'I think they will go to Arsenal in the first game and just try to contain them. If you let Arsenal play, they're a joy to watch and I feel Liverpool's job will be to try and stop them playing.
'If they can get a draw, I think they can win back at Anfield. The atmosphere and the support Liverpool will have there will give them a head start.'



Skipper Gerrard calls on Liverpool's fear factor



Captain Steven Gerrard believes Liverpool are the team feared by others in the Champions League.
The five-time European champions face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow in a quarter-final first leg.
Although the Gunners have dominated their domestic clashes in recent seasons - with Liverpool winning just three times in the last seven years - Gerrard believes European matches are a different prospect.
And he pointed to the Reds' Champions League victory over AC Milan in 2005 and appearance in the final again last season as proof of their credentials.
'We are a good side in Europe and we are always confident whoever we come up against we can qualify,' he said. 'I think other teams are more concerned about us because we have proved over the last two or three years we are one of the best sides in the competition.




'We have nothing to fear - just go there full of confidence and give it our best shot.'
Confidence is high after Sunday's victory in the 207th Merseyside derby, which Gerrard believes was the ideal preparation for facing English opponents in the Champions League.
'A big derby win and the fans are happy and the players are happy,' said the England midfielder. 'It is going to be a really tough game (against Arsenal) but we are looking forward to it now and go into it full of confidence.'
Gerrard would have preferred to be facing less familiar opposition - the teams faced each other four times in the league, FA and Carling Cups last season and will, by a quirk of the fixture list, also play in the Barclays Premier League this weekend.
However, he accepts it is just another hurdle to overcome.
'Before the draw was made you are looking for a team in (continental) Europe but you get what you are given and to win this cup you have to beat the best,' added the 27-year-old.
'When we won it in 2005 we had to beat all the best teams so I'm sure we will have to do it again.
'If you look at our games against Chelsea (they played the Blues three successive seasons in the Champions League) they were slightly different from the league games.
'It is a cup competition and it is different from playing for three points. I'm sure it will be different but we know we are in for two very tough games.'
Gerrard is also hopeful Arsenal's faint Premier League title hopes will mean they are not fully focused on European glory.
The Gunners stayed in the race for the title on Saturday after coming from 2-0 down to beat Bolton 3-2 with 10 men.
'They have one more thing to play for. Had they not won maybe it would have made it more difficult for us. Now they have still got half a chance in the league maybe that will distract them a bit.

1 comments:

Martín [ Noti-River ] said...

vamos river plate!

aguante argentina

bye bye