Benitez wants to see ‘real’ Liverpool

Considering the state of the current campaign, the Spaniard’s

comments have more than a ring of truth to them. After Monday’s

diabolical performance in the 1-0 defeat to Wigan – described by

Benitez as “a blip” – the Reds’ hopes of securing a top-four finish

in the Premier League have diminished considerably. As a result the

Europa League – a consolation prize for an early exit from this

season’s Champions League – represents the club’s only realistic

chance of success. Benitez said: “A game right now will be a chance

for the players to show their character. “The last 10 games we have

been all right. We had character, everyone was working hard,

helping each other and working together. “It was a surprise and

hopefully this result (Wigan) is just a blip and we will see the

real Liverpool on Thursday.” With defender Fabio Aurelio still

sidelined with a thigh strain midfielder Yossi Benayoun is

Liverpool’s only injury doubt as he missed training yesterday with

an ankle injury sustained at Wigan. Lille coach Rudi Garcia is not

reading too much into Liverpool’s latest defeat. He said:

“Liverpool are a big team and big teams are always there,” said

Garcia. “We cannot under-estimate them but we’ll see if they

perform again like they did against Wigan. “It will be difficult

(for us) after this more-than-average game they had against Wigan.

“But there are two sides to the story: maybe their confidence is

decreasing but they now know the importance of the Europa League

and winning it will be one of their objectives. “Liverpool are

probably the most legendary team in England, but then again maybe

we have to write our own story the way St Etienne did when they

played them in the quarter-finals back in the 1970s. “We need to

write our own history. We will see that maybe when we play at

Anfield but it is magical to play against such a team.”