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Home > Sports > Football > UEFA Champions League 2005-06 > Reuters > Report

Benitez ready to unleash Cisse

Jeremy Butler | October 19, 2005 12:49 IST

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is expected to utilise the pace of Djibril Cisse in Wednesday's Champions League clash with Anderlecht.

The France international has been unhappy with his lack of first team action with the European champions, competing for a starting berth with Peter Crouch, Fernando Morientes and Florent Sinama Pongolle.

He scored the winner in the 1-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, however, and is in line for a start against the Belgium outfit in Brussels.

"It's a possibility he will play. They will try to go forward because they need to win and we will have to manage our game to take advantage," Benitez told reporters. "There will be spaces for us to attack."

Benitez played down any rift with Cisse, although he said the former Auxerre player will have to fight for his place.

"In the press conferences and in the newspapers there was a lot of talk about our relationship," Benitez said.

"Our relationship is a professional one. We have no problems. If he works hard for the team he can play more games, but it depends also on his team mates.

"If Morientes plays well, or Crouch or Simana Pongelle then it would be more difficult for him, and better for me because competition is always good for the team.

"He's a good professional. He's working and trying to play and I must decide on things. When you have a lot of strikers you have to make decisions. It's impossible to say a striker will play all the games."

Liverpool can take a big step towards the knockout phase of the Champions League against a side who have lost their last nine group games in the competition.

They are joint top of Group G with four points from two games along with Premier League champions Chelsea who are in action against third-placed Real Betis.

"I have seen the videos and they have good players," Benitez said of pointless Anderlecht.

"Sometimes they play too nice and in football it's hard to play nice and win. It's hard to combine the two things.

"They have good players with quality and pace. They are not a bad team because they had chances against Real Betis."

UEFA Champions League 2005-06: The Complete Coverage
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