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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Liverpool v Standard Liège

Liverpool welcome Belgian champions Standard Liege to Anfield hoping to complete the task in hand and book their place in the Group phase of the Champions League.

The Reds have a solid record in the third round qualifying and have yet to fall at this stage of the competition, although they have lost second leg matches at Anfield in previous years, with Grazer AK and CSKA Sofia causing a scare or two.

Rafael Benitez will be keen for his side to avoid any such problems on this occasion and will be confident of seeing his team through in a competition they have flourished in over the past few seasons.

A 0-0 draw in the first-leg leaves the tie finely balanced but with so much at stake the Reds are unlikely to underestimate Liege this time around.​
 

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Hopefully Rafa decides to to play Lucas and Mascherano as CMs and Gerrard behind Torres like last season.

Reina
Arbeloa Carra Agger Dossena
Lucas Mascherano
*Keane/Kuyt/Pannent/Yossi Gerrard Babel
Torres

*who ever you want to pick their all shite wingers
 

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i predict we start with this line-up

------------reina--------
arbeloa--carra---skrtel---dossena
------------*alonso-------
**kuyt-----------gerrard-------**yossi
-------torres---------keane

* i don`t think rafa will start with mascherano after his hard he did with tango in last few days in the olympics games.. we may see him next season.

** i still hope to see other players rather than those in flanks.


ynwa
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Rafa Benitez has revealed there is a new buzz around Melwood following the return of our Olympic trio – but neither Javier Mascherano or Lucas will feature against Standard Liege.
The Champions League qualifier comes too soon for the pair following their Beijing exploits, though both are fighting for a place in the starting XI versus Aston Villa on Sunday.

Despite being out of Wednesday's game, Benitez claims the duo – as well as Dutch forward Ryan Babel – have spiced things up in training.

He said: "You can see the impact in training. They have a really good mentality and they are really happy – especially Mascherano and Lucas because of their medals. I think it will be positive for the team.

"If everything is okay, maybe they could play this weekend. They will be around and we will decide, but they cannot play in the Champions League.

"They're not playing this game so they have time in training and they'll be okay."

Mascherano became the first Argentinean footballer in history to claim two Olympic gold medals following a 1-0 victory over Nigeria.

The boss added: "Everyone knows what a good professional he is. He is a nice boy and a good player, so everyone is pleased for him. It's amazing."

Meanwhile, Benitez admits that, of his five Champions League qualifying campaigns with Liverpool, this has so far been the toughest.

"They could be the best team we've faced. If you look at some of the other games, we were much better than the opposition," he said.

"But if we do the right things we can be on top of them at Anfield. We will try to play at a high tempo and I'm sure they'll try to play on the counter-attack. I think it will be more or less similar to the first game but the difference will be Anfield.

"We have to improve at everything – set pieces and open play. We had a bad game. The best thing was the result but this time we have to play better and we have to score goals.

"You can know a team but sometimes you don't know exactly how they will play until you get on the pitch. You can watch videos and things like that but you do not always know. Now we know a lot about them so it will be easier to not make any mistakes.

"But I wasn't surprised by them - I was surprised at how badly we played.

"We have a lot of confidence that we will go through. We are at Anfield and we have to improve – and we will improve."

Benitez has been handed a major boost ahead of the clash with news that he has a fully fit squad to chose from.

"Everybody is available," revealed the Anfield boss. "We have training tomorrow and then we'll decide on the one or two players who have had problems."

Defeat or a score draw on Wednesday would see Liverpool fail to qualify for the Champions League for the first time under Benitez.

It's a prospect which the man himself isn't giving much thought.

"If you ask me if I am considering this option, the answer is no. I am just thinking about winning."

Quizzed on whether he'd throw Saturday's goalscoring hero Jamie Carragher up front if a late goal was required, the boss added: "I don't think so! I think we have better options but, if we're desperate, we can send anyone up there. We can send Pepe Reina if necessary."
 
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