SubscribeSubscribe

First leg: Benfica 1-0 Liverpool

Holders Liverpool appear in confident mood as they look to overturn the 1-0 deficit from the first leg in Lisbon.

Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez said: We will try to score as soon as possible but we know we will play 90 minutes – if we score one in the last minute, we have 30 more minutes. If we score early it may be easier.”

Benítez admitted his players were below par in the first leg but believes Benfica can expect a different Liverpool tonight.

“I am confident that if we play at our level we can beat them,” said Benitez. “The whole team has confidence and also experience, and we know that we are playing at Anfield, which is important.

“Our supporters are among the best in the world,” added Benítez.

“Benfica will feel the pressure of our supporters and our players will feel the supporters behind them. Against Olympiacos last season, we knew it was tough but we scored three goals in the end. I’m sure we will work really, really hard and score more than one goal.”

Fernando Morientes expected to return in attack, Benítez will choose between Peter Crouch and Robbie Fowler to partner the Spaniard up front.

Benfica coach Ronald Koeman expects to be under the cosh from the off tonight.

“Liverpool will put us under a lot of pressure at the start. We have to try and score a goal ourselves,” he said.

“They are not very confident at the moment but that can change with the atmosphere and the quality they have. But if we score, what happens then?”

“Steven Gerrard is a player who can decide a game on his own,” warned the Dutchman.

Benfica welcome back Geovanni and Fabrizio Miccoli, which means that Nuno Gomes may have to settle for a place on the bench.

“Miccoli and Geovanni could have an important role,” said Koeman.

Subscribe to World Soccer – The essential football magazine.

Articles

Kelsey Media Ltd
The Granary, Downs Court
Yalding Hill
Yalding
Kent ME18 6AL
01959 541444
www.kelsey.co.uk

© 2021 Kelsey Media Ltd