Football

Benitez ready for crunch double-header

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Rafael Benitez is confident his unbeaten Liverpool side have the mental strength to emerge triumphantly from two crucial games in five days.

The Liverpool boss knows his side's 15-match unbeaten run will be tested severely in Madrid on Wednesday and then against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

"We have the belief that we can win every game we play," the Spaniard insisted.

Against Atletico Madrid in the Vicente Calderon, Liverpool can virtually seal qualification from Champions League Group D with victory.

And if they can end Chelsea's 86-match unbeaten home league record on Sunday they will lead the Premier League and make a dramatic statement of intent.

Benitez, whose side came from behind to beat Wigan on Saturday, said: "I am confident that my players can produce the right performances this week.

"We are showing character and the right mentality you need for a winning team. We have Atletico next, and then Chelsea, two very tough away matches," he added. "But with games like that to come, how can we start talking about what we can win this season?

"It is too early to be talking of titles and cups. We must just keep going the way we are. It has to be a case of concentrating on each game, not looking to the future. But our players are showing great character.

"We can field a team good enough to beat Atletico, then we must think about how we play at Chelsea. But I am confident in my players that they can produce the right performances.

"We have a few minor injury problems to (Yossi) Benayoun, (Steven) Gerrard and (Robbie) Keane, but I do not expect them to be serious, they should all play on Wednesday."

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Topics:
European News
Football
Chelsea
Wigan Athletic
Liverpool

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