Football

Scolari backing for Benitez

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Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has leapt to the defence of Liverpool counterpart Rafael Benitez following his attack on Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson earlier this month.

The Brazilian insists he has some sympathy with Benitez as the two clubs prepare for their crucial Barclays Premier League showdown at Anfield on Sunday, where a draw would give United a clear edge in the title race.

"It's one of his ideas and I haven't spoken to him about it," said Scolari. "Maybe I will at the weekend. I understand. I understand very well. I understand that, sometimes, when we play there (at Old Trafford) and at Stamford Bridge, I know what happens."

Benitez accused Ferguson and his staff of putting referees under pressure, especially at Old Trafford, and of consistently showing them little respect.

Liverpool have drawn four out of their last five home games in the league but Scolari is reticent to boast that it is the perfect time to play them.

Benitez is under pressure as his contract dispute continues while he has also been criticised for his handling of striker Robbie Keane.

But while Scolari accepts the Spaniard has problems, the Brazilian still expects a difficult game.

"He may have more problems at the moment, but if you work in the same place for three years or so, you know how to react to that," said Scolari.

"I don't know what's happened there. I don't know what's happened with Benitez. I know when we've drawn or lost at home, we've needed to change something but I don't know what's happened there.

"Benitez is a fantastic coach with good players. We'll need more 'adaptation' than in the other games for this match."

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Topics:
Robbie Keane
Football
Chelsea
Premier League
Alex
Manchester United
Liverpool

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