Lyon Vs Liverpool Champions League Team News and Prediction Thread

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Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has lost two further players to injury ahead of Wednesday’s crucial Champions League Group E tie in France.
The Reds were already without skipper Steven Gerrard (groin), Albert Riera (hamstring), Martin Kelly (ankle) and Martin Skrtel (muscle and virus).
Glen Johnson (calf) and Fabio Aurelio (calf) have now pulled out.
Fernando Torres has travelled to Lyon despite a groin injury, while Alberto Aquilani is available after a virus.
Benitez also has fitness concerns over Daniel Agger (back) and David Ngog (ankle), both of whom did not feature in the 3-1 defeat by Premier League rivals Fulham at the weekend.

Liverpool, who were beaten 2-1 by Lyon at Anfield a fortnight ago, currently lie third in Group E and need to win to enhance their chances of qualifying to the knockout stages.
But the Reds, champions in 2005, are currently low on confidence after the loss at Fulham.
Benitez is also under scrutiny for his decision to substitute Torres at Craven Cottage, with the game locked at 1-1, although the manager insisted he had no choice but to replace his star striker.
“I was surprised with the criticism after the game because Fernando has had problems in the last month after the international games,” stated Benitez.

“We are trying to manage because he was close to having an operation. Still this morning, two days after the game, he is feeling something.
“He is not comfortable. He has not got the power he had before, so we have to manage and try to protect him. He cannot play well if you keep pushing him.
“Maybe if you push him he will be injured for a long time. So, I am really surprised with the critics.
“When you talk about big names, people just analyse the names and not how the player is when he is on the pitch. He was not 100% fit.
“We have to take Fernando because we don’t have too many options. We have to keep working with him and the rest of the players.” (BBC Sport)

I don’t think there is any over egging this pudding, this game is crucial. A defeat and we are out of the Champions League (Barring a very unlikely set of freak results) and a loss could mean even more to Rafa who could well be axed as a result of such a humiliating exit.

The fact we are without so many top players doesn’t help and I have to say I was impressed with Lyon when they played at Anfield. They are a good speedy attacking side but perhaps the counter attacking style they employed whilst playing away suited them more and there is no doubt we need to be going for the win because even a draw leaves us hoping for other results to go our way.

Obviously we are not in the best of form and its not just the results that have gone against us, bar the Man United match, we have not played well at all. Losing six games out of seven is pretty incredible stuff and a run that is clearly going to have many baying for Rafa’s blood but the time for such action is not now, we must all get firmly behind the team and the boss for this one.

I can only pray that no odd tactical decisions are made and that we are mentally prepared for the type of game we face.

My Prediction: I am an optimist and I am hoping for a narrow win. 1-0 to Liverpool.


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