Next Up: Benfica (h)

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Liverpool’s Europa League hopes hang somewhat loosely, after Benfica came back from a goal down to defeat the Reds 2-1 in Portugal last Thursday.

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A combination of self-destructing Dutch wingers, clumsy Argentine challenges and awful refereeing saw the Reds subjected to the first leg defeat.

But Rafa Benitez’s men do hold a valuable away goal, and a 1-0 victory in front of The Kop would be enough to see the Liverpool through to the Europa League semi-final, where they would meet the winner of Atletico Madrid-Valencia.

Benitez may be tempted to drop Yossi Benayoun again after a disappointing return to action against Birmingham on Sunday.

However, with Ryan Babel suspended, Maxi Rodriguez ineligible, and Alberto Aquilani still suffering ankle problems, Benitez could be left with limited midfield options to choose from.

Benitez has a huge problem at left back with Emiliano Insua suspended after his booking in the first leg, and Fabio Aurelio still sidelined through injury. That means Martin Kelly, Jamie Carragher or Daniel Agger may be required to deputise at full back.

Javier Mascherano will return to midfield after sitting out the 1-1 draw at Birmingham on Sunday.

stats benfica lfc

Kick-off at Anfield is 8.05pm, live on five (UK).