D-Day Arrives: Debrecen (a)

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D-Day arrives for Liverpool as they face Hungarian side Debrecen in Budapest with their Champions League qualification hanging by a thread.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

All eyes will also be on Florence, where the Reds must hope Lyon do them a favour and avoid defeat against Fiorentina. A win for the Italians will send Liverpool out of Europe’s elite competition – and the financial consequences run into their millions.

Lyon’s late equaliser in France three weeks ago mean they are already qualified for the knockout stages. If they get a draw (or a win) it will go to the final game against Fiorentina at Anfield.

Neither Fernando Torres, Albert Riera or Ryan Babel traveled to Hungary meaning Rafa Benitez is somewhat short of attacking options. Youngster David NGog is expected to continue to lead the line.

The Reds are hopeful defenders Daniel Agger and Glen Johnson will be available to return from injury, both missed the draw with man City at the weekend.

Fabio Aurelio could come in for Emiliano Insua at left back to add his European experience, while Alberto Aquilani is available and is yet to make his first start for the club.

When these two sides met at the beginning of the group stage at Anfield, Liverpool ended 1-0 winners thanks to a single goal from Dirk Kuyt.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

Speaking at the press conference on Monday afternoon, Carragher said of Lyon’s match with Fiorentina, “Lyon don’t need to do us a favour – they need to do themselves the favour of winning the group. I’m sure that’s what they’ll want to do.

“They’re not playing for Liverpool, they’re playing for themselves like we do. I’m sure in the Champions League they’ll want to finish top of a group that includes Liverpool, Fiorentina and Debrecen.

“Sometimes it works out that you get an easier opposition in the next round if you finish top, sometimes it doesn’t work that way, but every game you play in you want to win.”

Possible starting 11: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Aurelio, Mascherano, Lucas, Kuyt, Gerrard, Benayoun, NGog.

Kick-off on Tuesday night is 7.45pm, live on Sky Sports (UK).

Liverpool squad in full: Pepe Reina, Diego Cavalieri, Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger, Fabio Aurelio, Emiliano Insua, Sotirios Kyrgiakos, Jamie Carragher, Martin Skrtel, Andrea Dossena, Alberto Aquilani, Steven Gerrard, Yossi Benayoun, Javier Mascherano, Lucas Leiva, Jay Spearing, Dirk Kuyt, David Ngog.

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