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Leeds v Liverpool preview

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22 Sep 2009 10:54:24

Leeds v Liverpool preview

// A bit of a hack but it works// The article snippet is wrapped onto a second line, even when #article-sub is emptyif( $("div#article-sub").children().length == 0 ) {$("div#article-sub").remove();} Leeds and Liverpool renew their long-standing rivalry when they meet at Elland Road in the Carling Cup third round on Tuesday night, live on Sky Sports 2 and HD2. The two sides have not met for five years following three-time top-flight champions Leeds' relegation from the Premier League and a further demotion to League One. In that time Liverpool's fortunes have differed significantly as the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup have been won in contrast to their opponent's fall from grace. Leeds' slip down the football pyramid was also marred by financial difficulties as the 2001 European Cup semi-finalists were forced to sell their star players in order to stay afloat after gambling and missing out on Champions League qualification. But Simon Grayson's side are now on the up again and are leading League One after a strong start to the season and excellent home form, raising optimism of an upset against Rafa Benitez's Reds. PrioritiesBenitez would admit that he has other priorities this campaign, but the Spaniard will also be keen to avoid a shock against lower league opponents as he bids to end a trophy drought. Grayson will know he has an excellent chance of stunning the Reds at a sold-out Elland Road, but the Leeds manager does face a selection dilemma over fit-again skipper Richard Naylor. The defender has not featured for Leeds this season following back surgery in the summer, but has proved his fitness in a reserve-team appearance and is ready to return. Leigh Bromby has helped fill the gap in central defence so far this season, but the recent recruit from Sheffield United is cup-tied and Rui Marques is out with an Achilles injury. Grayson must, therefore, opt for Naylor or Lubo Michalik to start alongside Patrick Kisnorbo in his side. ProblemsLeeds, who have no other new injury or suspension problems, have confirmed they will pick from a full-strength squad. But it has been hinted that Grayson could make changes to his line-up as he already has one eye on next Saturday's League One clash at MK Dons. Benitez is expected to make wholesale changes to his squad for the trip to West Yorkshire, with captain Steven Gerrard and star striker Fernando Torres set to be rested. Daniel Agger could be included in the squad as the Danish international returned to full training last week following a back operation. Brazilian full-back Fabio Aurelio is standing by for his first start of the season after a knee problem.


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