Benitez's Boys Face Benfica
Oscar Cardozo - Benfica's top goalscorer...
As we continue to progress through the lower tier of European competition it is starting to get towards the business end of the procedure. With some more of the big names now being left in the pot, it is only ourselves and Fulham representing the British force.
Tomorrow we start the tie in Portugal and return to Anfield the following week. Benfica are an unfamiliar opposition for this current Liverpool side. Sometimes not knowing what to expect can be a good thing, although it also implies that the line up will be cautious ready for a more threatening side for the home leg.
Benfica are currently perched nicely at the top of the Portuguese league. 6 points clear of their nearest rivals. Despite their league not being up there with the best in the world of football, their run is nothing to be shunned.
Quite a few people are expecting Benfica to be a difficult team to beat, and i agree that it will not be an easy ride. But looking at some of the other opposition that we could have faced, i can't help but feel more confident, especially over two legs facing Benfica, who lets face it, aren't what they used to be.
Jorge Jesus will have a choice from all of his players according to Benfica's website in the run up to tomorrow nights clash.
In contrast Liverpool are still without Skrtel and Aurelio, with Maxi also being sidelined. To add to this Aquilani has suffered an ankle injury in training so is also ruled out.
With Torres on such great goalscoring form, the defence in great shape and Steven Gerrard putting in more inspired performances of late, a win is highly achievable. However returning with a draw would be satisfactory.
The chance of silverware at the end of the season is beginning to look realistic, it would be nice to at least be in with a shout at the end in Hamburg.