Ryan Babel hopes Champions League will inspire Liverpool FC

03 November 2009 06:00
Ryan Babel scores against Thailand 460

RYAN BABEL is backing the magic of the Champions League to inspire a performance from Liverpool's players that will revive their ailing season.

The Reds flew out to Lyon today knowing anything other than a victory in Stade Gerland tomorrow evening will effectively consign them to a campaign in the Europa League in the New Year, a prospect that seemed inconceivable when the draw for the Champions League group stages was made in Monaco in August.

If that alarming prospect is not going to become harsh reality, Liverpool's players will have to dramatically improve the kind of displays that have increased the scrutiny on Rafa Benitez and threatened their ambitions of making significant progress.

Babel is well aware of the peril that looms but, equally, he is not allowing himself to get distracted by negative thoughts, particularly as the Champions League has provided the scene for some of Benitez's most thrilling victories.

The best example, of course, was the rousing second-half display, inspired by Steven Gerrard, against Olympiakos in December 2004, which provided the catalyst for the Reds to go on and win the tournament against the odds.

On a par with that triumph, though, was the 4-0 thrashing of Marseille in December 2007 which enabled them to recover from a woeful start - they had one point from their first three games - to a group that also contained FC Porto and Besiktas.

So despite many already writing Liverpool off, Babel - a player who tends to save his best efforts for the Champions League - expects an emphatic response to banish the memory of Saturday's miserable showing at Craven Cottage.

'We may have lost against Fulham but I still believe the team has enough confidence to play well on Wednesday. The Champions League is different competition,' said Babel. 'We have a good history in it and we have the confidence to start well again.

Source: Liverpool_Echo