Fiorentina v Liverpool

28 September 2009 01:30
Liverpool will be without midfielders Javier Mascherano and Yossi Benayoun for Tuesday's Champions League Group E clash with Fiorentina. Mascherano is sick and Benayoun picked up a leg injury against Hull in the 6-1 thrashing of Hull on Saturday. Mascherano's absence means winger Albert Riera is likely to start. The hosts are without suspended top-scorer Alberto Gilardino, meaning Stevan Jovetic and Adrian Mutu could start up front together. Fiorentina coach Cesare Prandelli admitted Liverpool's free-scoring form, with 18 goals in their last six matches, has him worried. Striker Fernando Torres in particular is in rampant form, having scored a hat-trick in Saturday's 6-1 victory over Hull, and Prandelli is well aware his side face a tough task in trying to stop the Spaniard. "We're not going to start already beaten, but all those goals are starting to make me a little anxious," said Prandelli, who played in the Juventus side that beat Liverpool in the 1985 European Cup final. "How do you stop Torres? You must concentrate all the time, and be very lucky because he is so good. "We have watched the last three Liverpool games on DVD and we know what a difficult task we face." The Italian side took only two points from a possible nine at home in last season's group stage, and the team will hope to do better against a Liverpool side unbeaten on their travels in last season's competition, with three wins and three draws. To that end, the absence of Gilardino, who begins a two-match ban for elbowing Jeremy Toulalan in Fiorentina's defeat by Lyon two weeks ago, is a significant blow. Five-time European Cup winners Liverpool are level on points with Lyon in Group E, having opened with a 1-0 win over Hungarian champions Debrecen. And Rafael Benitez's side posted a 1-0 victory at Inter Milan on their last visit to Italy in 2008. "It was a great night in the San Siro. I enjoyed every minute of it and hopefully we can do the same against Fiorentina," said forward Dirk Kuyt, who scored the only goal against Debrecen. "It will be great if we can win in Florence and get six points from the first two games. It would give us more confidence ahead of the other group games." Liverpool (from): Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Insua, Lucas, Kuyt, Gerrard, Torres, Cavalieri, Aurelio, Dossena, Agger, Plessis, Voronin, Kyrgiakos, Babel, Riera, Spearing.

Source: BBC_Sport