“We have to win,” Benitez told press. “We must approach every game looking to win. You never know what will happen. This year all the teams are losing more games.
“We have confidence because in the past – for two or three seasons – we have done well in the second half of the league season. We have won a lot of games in a row and have confidence that, if we have players fit, we will do that again.
“We have to be ready for the first game. Hopefully we can win and if we do it will be easier, but it will be a tough game at Villa.
“City, Tottenham and Villa are doing well. We have to compete with them. Last year Villa did well but lost some games. Now they have spent some money and have good players, so it will be difficult to fight for this position.”