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Benitez sure Reds can take on the best
Published : 29 Sep 2009 08:38:00
Rafael Benitez aims to make it two Champions League wins out of two on Tuesday night and insists Liverpool can "beat anyone" in Europe. Liverpool have won six games in succession and beat Hungarian champion Debrecen 1-0 in their opening Group E match a fortnight ago. If the Reds can win against Fiorentina in the Stadio Artemio Franchi, then a place in the last 16 would be within their grasp. "The Champions League is a very different and difficult competition, but we have confidence we can beat anyone," said Benitez, whose team will be without hamstring victim Javier Mascherano. "The Champions League, if you start winning consistently, becomes massive. We got three points against Debrecen and if we can win against Fiorentina it will be a very good step forward. Because then we maybe have to win two more at home and that will be enough to qualify." Liverpool thrashed Hull 6-1 at the weekend, and Benitez said: "I think we can take this mentality into the Champions League, because the team is playing with confidence and scoring goals and playing good football. "It is easy for the players and the staff to have the same mentality. I am sure it will be different because Fiorentina are a very organised team so it will be more difficult to play good football but we will try." Benitez has shrugged off criticism of his side's recent defensive lapses, and pointed to the positives of a stunning 24-goal haul so far this term. The Anfield chief knows, too, that Spanish striker Fernando Torres has a lot to do with the goals rush, having hit eight in eight games this term. He insists that the team's attacking approach will not change in a difficult away European tie, and that Torres can get even better. Benitez said: "Our form has a lot to do with Torres, obviously. In the last three games he has been outstanding. Torres can still improve, because he likes to learn. He is on fire at the moment and is a key player for us, but the Champions League is more difficult and he is aware of that."