Red News


MARCH                 2010
10 11 12



Lille boss eyes Anfield goal
Lille coach Rudi Garcia believes his side will have to score at Anfield if they are to knock Liverpool out of the Europa League.
The French side heaped further misery on the Reds' shambolic season with a 1-0 first-leg last-16 win in Europe's secondary club competition at the Metropole Stadium on Thursday.
Garcia insists, though, that his team is not set up to defend for a draw and he admits they will travel to England in search of a goal to help their quest towards the quarter-finals.
"We are not a team set to play for 0-0. I believe we will have to score to get through," Garcia told L'Equipe.
(Sky Sports)

Benayoun battling to face Pompey
Liverpool midfielder Yossi Benayoun will face a late fitness test ahead of Monday's Premier League visit of Portsmouth to Anfield (8pm).
The Israel international missed Thursday's Europa League defeat in Lille after injuring an ankle in the loss to Wigan earlier in the week.
Fellow midfielder Maxi Rodriguez returns to the domestic squad having been ineligible for Europe.
Defenders Martin Skrtel (broken foot) and Fabio Aurelio (thigh) are still out injured.
Glen Johnson should retain his place in defence after starting the match
in France.
Liverpool (from): Reina, Johnson, Agger, Carragher, Sotirios, Insua, Gerrard, Mascherano, Lucas, Aquilani, Riera, Rodriguez, Ngog, Kuyt, Torres, Benayoun, Cavalieri, Pacheco, Spearing, Babel, Kelly, Degen.

Loanee Martin set for Rams debut
Derby have signed goalkeeper David Martin on a month's loan from Liverpool in time for Saturday's Championship trip to Doncaster.
Captain Robbie Savage played in goal for 50 minutes at Reading on Wednesday night after first-choice keeper Stephen Bywater was forced off with a back injury and his replacement Saul Deeney was sent off.
Martin could be given the nod to start but manager Nigel Clough is hopeful Bywater could be included in the squad. If Bywater is not fit, academy keeper James Severn could be on the bench.
"We are hoping Stephen will be fit enough at least to go on the bench," said Clough. "We have been managing his back problem. He hasn't trained much in the last week or two, he has just been playing the games and we are hoping he will be able to do that for the rest of the season."

Mascherano: We can still go through
Javier Mascherano is confident the chances they created in their Europa League defeat to Lille proves Liverpool can turn the tie around.
Confidence in the squad has taken a blow after a woeful performance in losing to Wigan on Monday and although they lost 1-0 in northern France it was a much-improved display.
"We have a chance to come back at Anfield so I think I am confident we can do it," said the Argentina captain.

Hicks loses billionaire status
Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks has lost his billionaire status, according to Forbes magazine's latest rich list.
However, the Texan businessman was still ranked 701st richest man in the world, with an estimated fortune of around 950 million US dollars (£620million).
The American - who also owns the Dallas Stars ice hockey franchise - has already agreed a deal to sell the Texas Rangers baseball team for £310million.
However, he appears in no hurry to offload his 50 per cent share in Liverpool, despite increasing pressure from disillusioned fans against the way he and co-owner George Gillett have run the club.
"We all know about his problems with his sports clubs here in the US and over there in England," Forbes senior editor Matthew Miller told the Liverpool Echo.
"He has had some debt problems. He has only just missed the cut (to be classed as a billionaire). We think he is a 900million to 950million US dollars guy."
Hicks and Gillett owe Royal Bank of Scotland £237million and have been unable to raise the money needed to build the club's proposed stadium at Stanley Park.
They looking to raise £100million through outside investment by the summer as RBS have requested they slash the amount of their debt.
(Sporting Life)

Cheyrou backing Ngog
for Liverpool success long-term

Bruno Cheyrou hopes Liverpool fans rally behind young French striker
David Ngog.
Former Reds midfielder Cheyrou is happy to see the youngster developing
at Anfield.
He told "He has played more games than he would have expected because of the injuries to Torres and I think he has done well. He has scored some goals and done a good job when called upon. It's difficult to come in and have to take the position of Fernando, who is one of the best strikers in the world. He is still young and will continue to improve. I'm sure he'll be a very good player for Liverpool in the years ahead."
Cheyrou is now playing in Cyprus with Anorthosis Famagusta.

What happened to
the badge of goner?

There was something missing at Liverpool’s Europa League match last night – and I don’t mean an aerial challenge at a set-piece – again!
Eagle-eyed Echo reader Anthony Howarth contacted us to ask why Liverpool haven’t worn their UEFA Badge of Honour against Unirea or Lille.
Like the stylish gold star sported on the chest of World Cup winners, the oval blue badge is a symbol of the highest European pedigree.
Only clubs who have won the European Cup three times in a row, or five times overall, are granted the privilege of being able to wear the Badge of Honour.
But Liverpool’s has been missing in their three Europa League ties to date.
Are the Reds embarrassed to be playing in Europe’s second tier tournament?
(Liverpool Echo)

Benitez stays positive
despite Liverpool FC setback

Rafa Benitez insists his side can still progress in the Europa League despite a 1-0 defeat in their last 16 first leg against Lille.
“It was an improvement from the last game. The players’ reaction has been very positive,” said the Reds boss. “I am disappointed with the result but really pleased with the effort of the players. They were fantastic today."
(Liverpool Echo)
Rafa's Reds hit a Hazard in Lille
Lille winger Eden Hazard's late goal inflicted a 1-0 defeat on Liverpool in the first leg of their Europa League last 16 clash in France.
The visitors appeared to have survived a testing examination by Les Dogues only for Hazard, who had been a threat all night, to curl in an 85th-minute free-kick.
Despite being territorially dominated Liverpool had the best two chances with Ryan Babel shooting too close to Mickael Landreau and Fernando Torres' header being brilliantly saved by the goalkeeper in the first half.
However, the scoreline was no real surprise as The Mastiffs, as Lille are known, had scored in 20 of their previous 21 games at the Lille Metropole.
Their impressive record has seen them lose just once at home in Ligue 1 since the opening day of the season on August 9, with only one defeat in 17 home European fixtures.
For Liverpool - unbeaten in France since a 1-0 Champions League defeat to Monaco in November 2004 - it was the worst possible result coming so soon on the back of a woeful performance at Wigan on Monday.

Johnson starts
Glen Johnson starts his first game of the year as Liverpool take on Lille this evening - listen live online from 5.50pm GMT.
Johnson hasn't made a starting XI since injuring his knee at Villa Park
on December 29.
Babel also starts on the left in the first leg of our Europa League last 16 clash.
The team in full: Reina, Johnson, Agger, Carragher, Insua, Mascherano, Lucas, Kuyt, Gerrard, Babel, Torres.
Subs: Cavalieri, Aquilani, Riera, Kyrgiakos, Ngog, El Zhar, Kelly.
(LFC Official Website)

Darby on loan with Robins
Swindon have signed Liverpool full-back Stephen Darby on loan until the end of the season.
As revealed by skysports.comearlier this week, Robins boss Danny Wilson had targeted the talented youngster.
Darby, who skippered Liverpool's 2006 and 2007 FA Youth Cup winning squads, made his debut in the Premier League against Spurs earlier this season.
The 21-year-old trained with Swindon's squad on Thursday morning and is expected to go into the squad for their clash against Brighton on Saturday.
The former England Under 19 international made his full Reds debut in the UEFA Champions League defeat to Fiorentina in December and marked the occasion with an error that demonstrated his naivety when gifting Alberto Gilardino the wining goal.
But Liverpool-born Darby made an impressive return to the first team in the initial FA Cup draw with Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
(Sky Sports)

Allardyce: I get under Rafa's skin
Sam Allardyce claims Rafa Benitez's criticism of him is a cover-up for how bad Liverpool are and claims the Reds have all but blown their chance of finishing in the top four.
Benitez last week mocked Allardyce's behaviour and Blackburn's style after their match at Anfield, suggesting that European champions Barcelona were going to model themselves on Rovers.
But the Blackburn manager has hit back by claiming he has managed to get under the skin of Benitez and that the Liverpool boss was just covering up for how badly his team played despite the Reds' 2-1 win.
Allardyce said: "It was a good cover-up by Rafa because he knows how bad his side were and that was repeated against Wigan on Monday night.
"He's got personal with it for many, many years now. That's why I don't like him and the feeling is probably mutual.
"I don't get personal with him; I get into him and under his skin, yes, but that's all part of the game.
"The tit for tat between me and Rafa will probably go on until one of us is no longer a Premier League manager.
"I've managed to psyche out one or two here and there and that's how the Premiership has evolved over the last 20 years.
"But no, Pep Guardiola has not been in touch yet!"
(PA Sport)

Skrtel hopes for injury boost
Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel is hoping to make an early return from injury after reporting that he is in a better state of health.
The Slovakia international is recovering from a broken metatarsal in his right foot he suffered in the Europa League win away to Unirea Urziceni last month.
The injury was initially expected to rule the 25-year-old out for two months and he has been undergoing intensive treatment at the Reds' training ground.
And Skrtel's recovery is going so well that his lay-off could be cut, providing a boost for both Liverpool and Slovakia ahead of their first-ever World Cup appearance this summer.
"I must say, I'm in a better state of health now," he said on his official website,
"I have been undergoing regular treatment on the injury at our Melwood training centre, along with getting massages and doing various exercises so that the muscles in my foot don't weaken.
"The foot is not swollen any more and it doesn't hurt as much as before. Naturally, I still have to use the crutches but on Thursday I went for a check scan which will determine how the treatment process will continue."
Yossi misses Lille trip
Yossi Benayoun has been ruled out of Liverpool's Europa League clash with Lille.
The Reds flew to France on Wednesday ahead of the first-leg last 16 Europa League clash.
But Israel star Benayoun will not be involved because of an ankle injury.
Benayoun suffered the problem during their defeat at Wigan on Monday and he has failed to recover in time to make the trip across The Channel.
One bonus for Rafa Benitez was that Dan Agger made the trip following a bout of sickness which forced him on the bench at Wigan.
(Sky Sports)

Lille set sights on Liverpool scalp

Rudi Garcia has urged his Lille side to show some St Etienne spirit in their Europa League last-16 first-leg tie with Liverpool on Thursday.
Having dismissed the Reds' defeat at Wigan on Monday as a "more-than-average performance" Garcia said he hoped his club would write their own history against the five-time European champions.
And he used St Etienne's 1-0 European Cup quarter-final home first-leg victory over the Reds in 1977 (they went on to lose 3-2 on aggregate in a famous night at Anfield) as a motivating factor.

Darby set for Swindon understands that Liverpool defender Stephen Darby is set to join Swindon on loan.
The 21-year-old full-back has been tipped to become a Reds star in the future and has already featured in the first team this season.
But manager Rafa Benitez is keen for the youngster to gain regular playing time for the remainder of the campaign and that would not be on offer at Anfield.
League One promotion hopefuls Swindon have therefore moved quickly as manager Danny Wilson aims to add what could prove decisive quality at
a critical period.
It is understood that Darby is on his way to the County Ground for talks on Wednesday afternoon, with Swindon keen to reinforce their squad after taking only one point from their last three games.
The former England Under 19 international made his full Reds debut in the UEFA Champions League defeat to Fiorentina in December and marked the occasion with an error that demonstrated his naivety when gifting Alberto Gilardino the wining goal.
But Liverpool-born Darby made an impressive return to the first team in the initial FA Cup draw with Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
(Sky Sports)

Rafa demands improvements
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has told his players that they must demonstrate their true ability when they travel to Lille in the Europa League.
The Reds visit France on Thursday for the first leg of their last-16 tie on the back of a terrible 1-0 defeat at Wigan in the Premier League on Monday night.
Benitez was uncharacteristically critical of his players in the wake of the loss at the DW Stadium and questioned their attitude.
The Spaniard now wants to see the 'real Liverpool' when taking on Ligue 1 title-contenders Lille and is demanding the correct attitude from kick-off.
"It was a surprise the other day, but hopefully it was just a blip and we will see the real Liverpool on Thursday," Benitez told his club's official website.
(Sky Sports)

Benayoun a doubt for Reds
Liverpool midfielder Yossi Benayoun is doubtful for the Europa League match against Lille tomorrow after sustaining an ankle injury.
Benayoun suffered discomfort in the defeat by Wigan and his fitness will be monitored ahead of the match.
Centre-back Daniel Agger should be available having recovered from a sickness bug which reduced him to the role of unused substitute on Monday.
Team (from): Reina, Johnson, Degen, Agger, Carragher, Kyrgiakos, Insua, Gerrard, Lucas, Aquilani, Benayoun, Riera, Ngog, Kuyt, Torres, Cavalieri, Pacheco, Spearing, Darby, Babel, Kelly.
(Press Association/Irish Independent)

No Reds bid for Stephens
Swindon Town's promising young goalkeeper Jamie Stephens looks set to stay with the League One club, after Liverpool failed to follow up their interest.
The 16-year-old enjoyed a trial spell with the Anfield club, but has since returned and the Robins have not been contacted by the Premier League outfit since.
Swindon boss Danny Wilson has told that the youngster has all the credentials to be a top class stopper.
"He has got a lot potential, as a lot of young lads have, with his age and size he ticks a lot of boxes," he said.
"Whether he can realise that potential in the long-run remains to be seen, but we rate him very highly for a boy so young and hopefully we can nurture that talent so that he becomes a great professional footballer.
"He went up for the experience more than anything, but he has come back and really enjoyed himself.
"We wanted him to go up and get a taste for what it is like at a top club like Liverpool then come back and get his head down again.
"He has done just that and as far as we are concerned nothing else will happen in terms of Liverpool coming in for him, but time will tell."
(Sky Sports)

Benitez hits back
at Wigan chief Whelan

Rafael Benitez has said Wigan chairman Dave Whelan should concentrate on his own club rather than worry about what is going on at Liverpool.
Whelan claimed the Reds were in a "mess" following Wigan's 1-0 victory over Benitez's side on Monday.
Whelan said: "Liverpool are in a mess. The owners, being American, I don't think they feel what we [fans] feel."
Reds manager Benitez hit back: "I do not talk about Wigan. He [Whelan] should talk about his own club."
(BBC Sport Online)

No disciplinary action for Gerrard
The Football Association have confirmed Steven Gerrard will face no disciplinary action over allegations he made a V-sign at referee Andre Marriner during Liverpool's 1-0 defeat at Wigan on Monday night.
The England midfielder was booked in the 81st minute of the Premier League clash at the DW Stadium following a robust challenge from behind on James McCarthy, and replays of the incident suggested Gerrard had gestured towards Marriner as well as mouthing an obscenity at the official.
It is understood Marriner saw the 'incident' at the time but did not deem it worthy of further punishment.
Under those circumstances, the FA cannot take retrospective action.
(Press Association Sport)

Rafa backs Pepe’s
pride and passion

The favourable discussions on an extended contract for Pepe Reina were one of the highlights of last week for any Liverpool fan.
And the fact is not lost on Rafa Benitez, the man who brought arguably the World’s best goalkeeper to Anfield for just £6M.
As the reds prepare to fly to France for tomorrow night’s Europa League clash in Lille, Rafa has hailed the characteristics of the reds’ stopper.
“Pepe is the man closest to the fans on the pitch.
“He listens to what they are saying and he knows what they are thinking and you can see the passion he has in the way he plays and the way he directs things.
“He is a fantastic character and he is proud to be here. He has a strong mentality and you can see that in the way he is in the dressing room and around the training ground. He is someone who always wants the best for this team.
“I think he has been playing really well and we are pleased with him. He is a top goalkeeper and has broken a lot of records since we signed him from Villarreal. We are delighted he is with us.”
(Anfield Online)

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