Benitez calm despite poor run

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Football News

Rafael Benitez goes into European combat on Tuesday insisting he still has confidence in his Liverpool squad, despite three successive defeats.

Manager Benitez will have skipper Steven Gerrard back from a groin injury against Group E leaders Lyon at Anfield in a crunch Champions League clash, but he is still missing striker Fernando Torres with a similar injury.

Benitez maintains, however, Liverpool can cope without one or both of their two best players, and said: "We have been criticised, but I am happy with the squad. The vast majority of them were here last season when we won 86 points, very little has changed."

He added: "People say we cannot play without Gerrard and Torres. I was not worried at the weekend even though we lost at Sunderland when we were without both of them, so now with one back it is even less of a problem.

"Lyon are experienced, they have a good team and they are well organised. It will be tough for us, but we would prefer not to think about defeat but be positive.

"It is better to say that both will progress from this group and both of us can be a problem for anyone.

Benitez continued: "The trouble is not that we lack depth and quality. We must manage with the situation we have, which is made more difficult with several players out injured.

"We worked hard in the summer to keep the players we wanted, and to add to that. But the troubles have arisen because of the amount of injuries to key players."

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European News
Premier League
Fernando Torres
UEFA Champions League
Steven Gerrard

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