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RedinSweden

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l think over the two legs we'll go through.

 

Really?

I don't rule anything out after 2005 but at the same time, I don't see lightning striking twice either.

So while I see the similarities to great European nights after feeble league and cup performances 3 years ago, I reckon we'll go out with a whimper like Benfica in 06 and Rafa will be out on his aris.

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We're up against it. If we play anything like we have of late we'll go out. If we play anything like we have shown in this competition before, then we have a decent chance.

 

the first leg at home works against us, but hopefully our fans are wise enough to know we can't be gung ho. Any kind of win going to Italy is a great result, but then a 0-0 is not bad at all. This is not the second leg, and away goals come into play for us next time if we keep them out at Anfield.

 

Hopefully this will bring out the best in us.

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I can't wait for this. Flight tomorrow at 2pm so I can afford to lie in too.

 

Fuck you! Ill bet you get a subway for lunch aswell. I will be in triple History when you jet off. Cunt.

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First live game in a month. have to get up at 4.30 am to watch it and then go to work. I don't give a fuck though. I haven't looked forward to a game so much in I don't know how long.

 

Going to watch Fremantle Dockers in the AFL is all well and good but there is nothing like watching Liverpool in Europe even if it is only on the telly.

 

COME ON YOU REDS!!

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Not looking forward to this at all. I just can't see us getting anything, they're on form and we aren't. If we were on a good run then I'd be confident but the way we're playing at the minute I can't see anything other than a defeat.

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Rafael Benítez is expecting a performance of faultless attitude at Anfield tonight, writes Andy Hunter

 

Tuesday February 19, 2008

The Guardian

 

The mercury was rising after Liverpool's FA Cup humbling by Barnsley but Rafael Benítez, clenching both fists and reddening by the second when pressed on his Anfield future, would not take the bait. "We must work harder," he repeated, over and over and over again. It was the most mundane solution to a developing crisis but at least the Liverpool manager's assessment was based in truth.

Benítez was first into Liverpool's Melwood training ground on Sunday morning and immediately began to compose an address to a squad of players who will dictate the club's Champions League fortunes against Internazionale and their manager's future beyond. There is a state of inertia around the 2005 European champions, a situation created by the lack of communication between the owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett which has affected the day-to-day running of a club still coveted by Dubai International Capital. Liverpool's insipid form since Christmas would suggest that the inability to implement major decisions and take the club forwards has contaminated manager and playing staff too and it was with good reason that Benítez convened a team meeting within 24 hours of Barnsley.

 

Article continues

 

If the Spaniard is to have his appeal for patience and appreciation granted by whatever board runs Liverpool this summer, then the malaise now afflicting his players must be cured. Hence the sacrifice of Benítez's sacred cow on Sunday - rotation - when he told the assembled throng it was the intention to field only his strongest team in the pursuit of this season's remaining two targets: fourth place and the Champions League.

Liverpool have enhanced a rich European history with stirring backs-to-the-wall results in recent years, as Barcelona, Olympiakos, Chelsea, Bayer Leverkusen and Marseille can all testify, but they have never appeared as listless or so bereft of fighting spirit before a Champions League examination as they do today. On the evidence of recent outings few players would have the confidence to enter a karaoke competition, as Craig Bellamy did prior to Barcelona last year, never mind confront John Arne Riise with a golf club afterwards. A more valid comparison for this Liverpool team is the final months of Gérard Houllier's reign when, following a fifth-round FA Cup exit at Portsmouth, the lack of a title challenge signalled the game was up for the manager despite claiming fourth place in the league.

 

Victory over an Inter team unbeaten in 23 Serie A matches this season, however, or merely a performance of faultless attitude and application, would allow Benítez to claim he still has a squad willing to take responsibility and fight his corner.

 

"The atmosphere is not bad," he claimed yesterday. "Everybody's sad, everybody's disappointed but the players are training well. They know the Champions League is an important competition and also they know they have two targets now, to finish in the top four and the Champions League. I have explained this to them. We don't have to rest players with four competitions in mind. Now we just have to win every game but to win the Champions League is not easy. Inter Milan are at the top of the table unbeaten, so you are talking about the top teams in Europe.

 

"It's clear they don't have too many weaknesses but they have some, so we will try to find them. They are a fantastic team with good players and experience in Europe, so we have to play really well to beat them."

 

Those Benítez is expected to field at the heart of his team, Steven Gerrard and Javier Mascherano, are acutely aware of the responsibility upon them. "We need to make a good start as the San Siro is not one of those places where, ideally, you'd want to go chasing a result," admitted the Liverpool captain. "Inter are a fantastic side, you have to be to be as far ahead in the Italian league as they are at the moment. It looks like they're odds-on favourites to make it three in a row and that's some achievement for them. We'll need to take our chances. That's been one of the frustrations of the season for all of us."

 

Mascherano could confront five fellow Argentinians in the Inter ranks - though only Javier Zanetti, Esteban Cambiasso and Julio Cruz are expected to start at Anfield - but the occasion overrides sentiment for Liverpool. "I don't have any friends playing for the opposition against Liverpool," insisted the midfielder. "They are team-mates for my country and they are great, great players, but one of my jobs is to stop Inter Milan's best players playing over the next two games. It was like that with Carlitos [Tevez] and Man United. I will die to try and get my team a win." Figuratively at least, Benítez must hope that spirit proves infectious.

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Some great quotes in this article. Make him captain.

 

Javier Mascherano: I'd die for Liverpool to get Inter Milan win

David Maddock19/02/2008

 

Javier Mascherano insists he is ready to die to get the result that will breathe life into Liverpool's season.

 

The Argentine comes up against international team-mates Javier Zanetti, Esteban Cambiasso and Julio Cruz when Inter Milan arrive at Anfield tonight for a game that will shape the English club's immediate future.

 

Not only is manager Rafael Benitez's job on the line in the Champions League showdown, but the future of many of his players could also be decided by the contest with the Italian champions.

 

Victory is a daunting task, with skipper Steven Gerrard admitting his side will have to produce the game of their lives to overcome opponents who lead Serie A by 11 points.

 

But Mascherano is ready to put not only his reputation but his body on the line as he looks for the result that will ease the pressure at beleaguered Liverpool and allow him the last laugh over his fellow countrymen.

 

"I would die to try to get my team a win in this game. They are my team-mates for my country but my job is to stop Inter Milan's players," said Mascherano.

 

"When I play for Liverpool, I don't have any friends in the opposing side.

 

"When I go out on to the pitch, when I get my mind into playing mode, I forget about everything except winning. I will die to try and get my team a win.

 

"If that means getting myself between the ball and people who are friends off the pitch, then that is just the way it is." Mascherano will certainly need a night of inspiration if Liverpool are to ease the pressure on their under-fire manager, after a season that promised so much but has so far delivered little.

 

Inter are massive favourites to secure a third successive Italian title, and are also in the mood to end their 43-year wait to lift the European Cup. The omens are not good for Benitez as he goes into a game which could well decide his future as the pressure for change at Anfield grows to an almost unstoppable momentum.

 

At present there is a power vacuum within the club, with talks continuing over a possible sale by Americans George Gillett and Tom Hicks to Sheikh Mohammed's DIC group, but whoever owns Liverpool is likely to want a fresh manager in place unless there is a real sign of progress.

 

With disastrous defeat at the hands of Barnsley in the FA Cup that can only come in the Champions League and, according to skipper Gerrard, Inter present possibly the toughest hurdle his side could have faced.

 

"To get the kind of result we need we are going to have to turn in maybe our best 90 minutes of the season. It is going to have to be one of those great performances," he said,

 

"They are a fantastic side. You have to be, to be so far ahead in the Italian league, as they are at the moment. They are odds-on to make it three titles in a row and that's a fantastic achievement for them.

 

"We will need to take our chances against them, and that's been one of the frustrations of the season for us. We have dominated games and created lots of good clear sights of goal, and we haven't taken them.

 

"It's not just about the strikers, it's the whole team who have been missing those opportunities and we have to change that."

 

Gerrard knows the Anfield leg of this tie is crucial. The Reds must give themselves a lead to defend in the passionate atmosphere of the San Siro.

 

Against the Italian side's glittering array of talent, that could prove a mountainous task, and the England star admitted: "We need to make a good start to get us up for the trip to Italy.

 

"The San Siro isn't a place where you want to be chasing a result. In a perfect world we would score a couple of goals and keep it tight.

 

"But Inter don't concede many goals and they have got great players all over the pitch. So we will have to play well, we know that, and this is the type of game we normally respond in."

 

Benitez faces a dilemma in his selection as he attempts to restore the punctured confidence of his side, following the 2-1 defeat by Barnsley.

 

Inter are weak at fullback, and he could be tempted to play two wingers to provide crosses for Peter Crouch, but his cautious instincts suggest he will swamp the midfield and look to take a narrow lead to Italy. Only Andriy Voronin and Daniel Agger are unavailable as he picks from a full squad.

THREE INTER PLAYERS TO WATCH

 

ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC

Ibrahimovic is an explosive talent, who can control games but equally can disappear without trace if he is not in the mood. He packs tremendous shooting power, can be brilliant with the ball at his feet and is a deadly finisher, as 14 goals in 20 Serie A appearances and a goal a game in the Champions League this season will testify.

 

ESTEBAN CAMBIASSO

Cambiasso has been the key to Inter's success this season, with Patrick Vieira's impact limited by injury. The Argentinian is essentially a defensive midfielder, but is so much more besides. He picks and chooses his moments to join in with the attack carefully and intelligently and his passing is crisp and inventive.

 

MARCO MATERAZZI

Materazzi is almost the archetypal Italian defender and will look to stop Fernando Torres by any means necessary. Expect him to stick to Torres like glue. He is also a danger at set-pieces at the other end, as he proved by scoring Italy's goal in the 2006 World Cup final before his brand of playful banter proved too much for Zinedine Zidane to take.

 

Javier Mascherano: I'd die for Liverpool to get Inter Milan win - Mirror.co.uk

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I couldnt imagine Barnsley scoring the late winner with Mascherano on the pitch. Alonso attempted tackle and then Carra turning his back twice before the striker took the shot was a joke.

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I couldnt imagine Barnsley scoring the late winner with Mascherano on the pitch. Alonso attempted tackle and then Carra turning his back twice before the striker took the shot was a joke.

 

none of that today. positive attitude!

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I think a 1-1 draw tonight .

I am getting a bit nervous which is nice because the last few games I have just had that "this is going to be a crap game " feeling .Maybe it is to do with the fact there are some quality players on the pitch to watch as well.

Tonight I shall also be wearing at least two pairs of socks,a hat and a scarf as well as normal match attire

Getting there early so I can have a cup of tea from the burger van and scald my mouth.

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What score tonight would make you confident of going through?

 

Crucial we don't concede and if we can get 2 goal cushion then we should be OK (dodgy Ref's excepted!)

 

I'll be confident with any sort of positive result. 2-0 or 3-0 would be ideal, though.

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Who's reffing the game?

 

A bunch of fucking belgians! (unless they are from Belarus and just all happen to have crappy belgian sounding names)

 

Referee

Frank De Bleeckere (BEL)

Assistant referee

Peter Hermans (BEL) Alex Verstraeten (BEL)

Fourth official

Paul Allaerts (BEL)

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A bunch of fucking belgians! (unless they are from Belarus and just all happen to have crappy belgian sounding names)

 

Referee

Frank De Bleeckere (BEL)

Assistant referee

Peter Hermans (BEL) Alex Verstraeten (BEL)

Fourth official

Paul Allaerts (BEL)

 

Great! No-name, easily bought, cheat referees.

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