Reds better than Bhoys – Utrecht boss

But the Dutchman, with a little help from the other half of the Old

Firm, hopes his side will draw inspiration from playing the

five-time European champions. Utrecht dispatched Celtic 4-0 on home

turf in their Europa League play-off, having been 2-0 down from the

first leg at Parkhead. Liverpool may currently be struggling in the

Premier League but they have not lost to Dutch opposition since

their first encounter in 1966 when Ajax won 5-0 in Amsterdam. Du

Chatinier knows Thursday’s Group K encounter will be tough,

especially as counterpart Roy Hodgson has brought almost a

full-strength squad. As a result they have explored every avenue

available to them in their preparations, including assistant

manager Jan Wouters calling in a favour from his former Rangers

boss and current Birmingham manager Alex McLeish. “Liverpool are a

better team than Celtic, with all respect,” said the Utrecht boss.

“We have asked people in England and Jan has spoken to Alex

McLeish. “We’ve watched Liverpool’s home game against Steaua

Bucharest (a 4-1 win) and the match at Manchester United (a 3-2

defeat).” Du Chatinier’s squad will watch the second half –

undoubtedly the better 45 minutes as they fought back from 2-0 down

– of Liverpool’s defeat at Old Trafford again tonight. But the

squad have an air of confidence as they are unbeaten at the Stadion

Galgenwaard in four European games, having not conceded in the last

three. And the manager does not expect to have to motivate his

players. “There’s no need to show my players pictures of Rambo (the

Sylvester Stallone character who is an expert in one-man warfare),”

added Du Chatinier. “The motivation of playing Liverpool will be

enough. “I am anxious to know what my team will do but that is

normal, I’m not afraid.” Ghanian midfielder Nana Asare will miss

tomorrow’s game through injury but striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel,

who has scored six times in seven Europa League matches, will play.