Benitez not concerned over former stars

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Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez does not fear the return of former players Robbie Keane and Peter Crouch when they face Tottenham at Anfield.

Benitez sold both - Crouch because he wanted more first-team football and Keane after a disappointing spell of just six months - in July 2008 and last January respectively. The pair - along with England striker Jermain Defoe - have helped fire Spurs into fourth place this season.

"You can talk about which players are against you but I am sure there are 200 cases where they did not do anything against their former clubs but it always seems important when they score," said the Spaniard.

"If you name one player who will score against us it has to be Defoe, Keane or Crouch because they are the strikers and are scoring goals.

"Crouch wanted to play more games, he wanted to play every week, and he went to Portsmouth and then Tottenham - which was fantastic for him.

"Keane had a different situation. He came as a big name but sometimes players don't perform at the level you are expecting in your team.

"He is doing well now with Tottenham but I don't want to see them scoring too many goals because we want to be in the top four."

Benitez knows the match presents an ideal opportunity to make a move on their fourth-placed rivals and, despite conceding a morale-sapping last-minute equaliser at Stoke on Saturday, he is confident his side will rise to the occasion.

"We know this is a crucial game because if we beat them we will be one point behind," he added.

"It is very important for us but we have been playing a lot of important games in the last few months and the players are ready. If we can win against Tottenham the fans will be happier and the race for fourth place will maybe be easier."

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Tottenham Hotspur
Robbie Keane
Premier League
Peter Crouch
Jermain Defoe

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