Reds-Arsenal: War of the Words

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Rafael Benitez says that tonight’s game between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield in the Champions League is make or break for Arsene Wenger’s men in terms of silverwear.

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Saturday’s Premier League draw between the two teams all but ended the Gunner’s chances of winning the title this season, leaving Manchester United and Chelsea to chase top spot.

Benitez has stepped up the pressure on Arsenal, claiming tonight’s clash “will be the most important if they want to win a trophy this season.”

He said, “Before the game on Saturday they knew they had to win to stay in the title race.

“Wenger changed five players, but had to bring back his big players trying to win the game.

“With Manchester United drawing on Sunday there is still a slight chance. But I do not expect Arsenal to be thinking about the title now, just the Champions League.”

Arsenal boss Wenger remains confident his side can inflict defeat on Liverpool tonight as the two sides meet for the fourth time this season.

“I think we have enough resources to qualify on Tuesday night,” he said. “We go until the end of the season and then see what it is like. But it was difficult to predict that Eduardo, Van Persie and Rosicky would be out together and for such a long time.”

But Benitez knows that the home advantage his team has could be crucial as he looks ahead to another special European night at Anfield. Can the Kopites be the twelfth man again?

He continued, “You could feel the atmosphere against Chelsea in the semi-final, and I expect that to be the same this time. Our fans can also hold the key.

“I saw Chelsea affected by the Kop, it was clear. Hopefully it will be the same again.

“When you have to face our fans for 90 minutes on top of you, then it is not easy for the majority of players.”

Tonight’s game, Liverpool vs Arsenal (1-1 agg.), kicks off at 7.45pm and is live on ITV 1.