Liverpool prepare for Champions League tie

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:50 IST

Liverpool will be without several first team players when they host Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie.

Liverpool prepare for Champions League tie
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Liverpool:

Liverpool will be without several first team players when they host Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie at Anfield on Tuesday night. Club captain Steven Gerrard is suspended, Fernando Morientes and Mauricio Pellegrino are both cup-tied, while Xabi Alonso and Florent Sinama-Pongolle have joined Djibril Cisse in the Reds' treatment room. Liverpool Football Club are on the verge of six days that will either make or break their season. The Reds face Chelsea in the final of the League (Carling) Cup on Sunday, but on Tuesday there is the small matter of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie against Bayer Leverkusen. Captain suspended Liverpool will host the German Bundesliga side in the first leg at Anfield, but they will be without the services of their inspirational captain Steven Gerrard, who will miss the match with a one-game suspension. Manager Rafael Benitez is positive that his side can cope without their midfield dynamo though. "In football, it is normal to have some players (who cannot be) playing through injuries or suspension, and in this case we know that he is very, very important for us, but we have been training nine days without him or thinking about (not using) him and I think that we have solutions. Always you want to have the best players, but we have a very good team for tomorrow," said Benitez. Morientes to miss encounter Recent signing Fernando Morientes will also miss the game as he has already appeared in this season's Champions League for former club Real Madrid and is therefore cup-tied. John Arne Riise was in the Liverpool side that faced Leverkusen in the quarter-finals of the 2001/02 Champions League. Leverkusen eventually reached the competition final, where they were beaten 2-1 by winners Real Madrid, and Norwegian Riise realises that the tie will be far from over when the final whistle blows at Anfield on Tuesday. (AP)

Topics : Football Bayern Munchen
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