Liverpool's Rafael Benitez wants maximum points from final six Premier League games
21 April 2009 01:00
The Spaniard's side lie just a point behind their old rivals from Old Trafford with 70 points, though Sir Alex Ferguson's team have the added reassurance of a game in hand. But while Benitez knows a maximum 18 points between now and May might not be enough to stop United picking up a record-equalling 18th league championship, he believes Liverpool will only have a chance if they do all they can to keep the pressure up.
The first of those games comes tonight as Arsenal visit Anfield, giving Liverpool the third chance in as many matches to knock United out of top spot, if only for a few hours.
He said: "For us the important thing is to do our job, to prepare properly for every game and look to take three points from each of them.
"If we do that and then still can't win the league then there's nothing else we can do. It still depends on United, but we have to keep the pressure on them. If we win tonight then we go back to the top and put them under more pressure for tomorrow night."
Liverpool's possible 88 point total would only have been enough to win the league in five of the last 10 league seasons and United's potential four point cushion means they remain odds-on favourites to retain their crown.
But Benitez remains hopeful United's and Chelsea's Champions League commitments cuts will swing the balance towards Liverpool, whose agonising failure to land a knock-out blow to Guus Hiddink's side at Stamford Bridge means they now have only the league to concentrate on.
He said: "Hopefully the other teams around us are distracted by the Champions League. When you are playing in two massive competitions it can be difficult and so we have to be ready if other teams make a mistake.
"When you lose games it can be difficult but the way we lost it wasn't too bad.We played well, scored four goals at Stamford Bridge and so I am sure our confidence hasn't been affected. The players have trained really well and yesterday's session was fantastic. The atmosphere among them is really good and I feel we are in a good moment.
"We've had a full week to prepare for Arsenal which has been good because we have been able to look at all of the small details, which I always like to do. It will be hard for Arsenal to lose fourth place in the table now so I think their main emphasis will be on the Champions League. They still have to play all of the top three so it would be a good message if we can beat them tonight."