Although he didn’t sound entirely convincing, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers threw some much needed support behind the embattled 24-year old ahead of their meeting with Real Madrid at Anfield later today. “He scores big goals in big games” said the Northern Irishman of the misfiring Italian striker. “I’m sure he will go into tomorrow, if picked, looking forward. It is just a matter of time before he gets his goals.”
Following Sunday’s last gasp win against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road, Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard called on his side to pick up the pace and start turning in performances worthy of the red shirt — something he believes applies to him as well.
“The message is not just to them, I’m involved in it myself as well. I’m sure they’ve taken it on board. We have been a bit up and down and it has been a bit of a stuttering season” said the veteran Reds midfielder ahead of the meeting with Real Madrid later today before explaining that the changes in personal and injury problems have hampered their efforts. “I have huge confidence and belief in this group of players that we can get back to the form and level of last season. It won’t be very long.”
Video courtesy of LFC Media
It’s been an exciting week already for Champions League football, but for Kopites everywhere, yesterdays round of fixtures were a mere appetizer for the main course that’ll be served up tomorrow evening when Liverpool host reigning European champions Real Madrid at Anfield.
Despite leaving Liverpool for Real Madrid all those years ago, fullback Alvaro Arbeloa has remained an ardent Red ever since. The Spaniard, who spent three Premier League seasons at Anfield, returns to Merseyside for the first time since departing for the La Liga outfit when the two sides meet in the Champions League tomorrow and he’s told his team-mates that they’re in for something special.
“I’ve told everyone this is an opportunity they shouldn’t miss,” explained the 31-year old World Cup and Champions League winner. “They’re used to a stadium that holds 80,000, sure, but Anfield is la bomba, unique. I’ve told them to enjoy it. I can imagine what Anfield will be like, how they’ll sing You’ll Never Walk Alone and cheer every corner or throw-in close to our area as if it’ll end in a goal – and I know it’ll feel like that to us.”
Despite persistent rumours linking Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling with a move to defending European champions Real Madrid, boss Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that although he’s a fan of the 19-year old, he doesn’t have an interest in taking him to the Santiago Bernabéu at this time.
The youngster, who forced two own goals as the Reds narrowly beat bottom of the barrel Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, will get to visit the famous stadium when Liverpool visit in the Champions League in just under two weeks time, but he’ll certainly get his chance to show the ten time Champions League winners what he’s all about when they visit Anfield tomorrow. While he’s sure to impress no matter what the scoreline, Ancelotti isn’t looking to snatch him away from Anfield — at least, not quite yet.