The first of two must win matches in a week for Benitez.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is fit to play against Lyon in Tuesday’s Champions League Group E clash but striker Fernando Torres misses out.
Midfielder Gerrard sat out Saturday’s controversial 1-0 Premier League defeat to Sunderland with a groin injury but returned to training on Monday.
“It’s important as we have had injury problems. Having Gerrard fit is a big boost for us,” said boss Rafa Benitez.
Spanish international Torres is still recovering from an abdominal problem.
Benitez added: “Fernando is not close enough to fitness to be considered. He will miss this one but I hope he will be OK to play against Manchester United next weekend.”
Liverpool lie third in Group E after a win and a defeat, while Lyon have won their opening two matches.
Argentine duo Javier Mascherano and Emiliano Insua are both set to start after sitting on the bench at the Stadium of Light following international duty.
Lyon lost 2-0 to Sochaux on Saturday, their first defeat of the season, and were missing injured defenders Cleber Anderson, Mathieu Bodmer and Jean-Alain Boumsong.
Sidney Govou and Kim Kallstrom could play after sitting on the bench on Saturday, while Lisandro Lopez will continue to start up front despite a groin strain.
Liverpool (from): Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Skrtel, Insua, Aurelio, Dossena, Benayoun, Riera, Gerrard, Mascherano, Lucas, Babel, Voronin, Kuyt, Ngog, Spearing, Cavalieri, Darby, Plessis. (BBC Sport)
Some are billing this, probably accurately, as a must win game. At the very least we can not afford to lose it. Lyon have managed six points from their first two games but are not actually in the best of form at present having lost their first match of the season on the weekend.
These next six days are pretty crucial and it’s a big shame we can’t call upon El Nino tonight and it will be interesting to see how Rafa plays it. I expect Mascherano to come back in and Spearing to be replaced but if we want to go all out for the win then it may be wise to try out a strike partnership of Babel and Kuyt with Riera and Benayoun playing on the flanks.
Lyon are pretty well versed defensively and have conceded just seven goals in 11 domestic and Champions League matches so this is likely to be all about who gets the first goal. It’s good that Stevie G is back and it will be down to him to push us forwards and link midfield with attack.
My Prediction: 1-0 (Late Kuyt goal).