Football

Benitez makes a Liverpool vow

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Rafael Benitez has vowed to take Liverpool back into the Champions League as they prepare for the embarrassment of a dead rubber against Fiorentina on Wednesday.

Liverpool are already out of this season's competition having failed to finish in the top two in Group E, while they sit three points adrift of the qualifying places in seventh place in the Barclays Premier League.

But Benitez said: "I am convinced we will have Champions League football back here next season."

Liverpool had won six on the trot ahead of their 2-0 defeat in Florence in September, but have since managed just two wins in 13 since.

Benitez will finally give £20million midfielder Alberto Aquilani his full debut, four months after he arrived at the club, but that could well be the only thing to brighten the night for the Liverpool fans.

The Spanish boss knows that the only way to get back into next season's Champions League is to finish in the top four of the Premier League, on current form not an easy task.

He added: "We have a good team, a good squad and we can win games in a row now. We have not lost in six and kept three consecutive clean sheets, that is positive and an improvement on what was happening a few weeks ago.

"We know what it means to play in the Champions League. The players certainly understand.

"We have the right experience and I am confident we will finish in the top four, at least, so we must concentrate on our league games to achieve that.

"We have Arsenal next, then Wigan in midweek before Portsmouth away the following Saturday. We must win those games to get ourselves back into a strong position to make sure we do qualify for the tournament next season."

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Liverpool

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