It’s do or die for LiverpoolFebruary 27th, 2009 - 2:39 pm ICT by IANS
London, Feb 27 (DPA) It’s do or die for Liverpool in the English Premier League this weekend as they look to keep alive their flickering hopes of winning the title for the first time in 19 years.
Rafael Benitez’s side go to relegation-threatened Middlesbrough, knowing only victory will be enough to convince leaders Manchester United that the title race is not already over.
With United playing Tottenham Hotspur in the Carling Cup final Sunday, Liverpool can close to within four points of their rivals by winning at Middlesbrough 24 hours earlier.
While their 1-1 draw at home with Manchester City last weekend was typical of the problems they have had finishing sides off at Anfield this season, their away form has been superb and they go into the match on the back of a well-earned 1-0 win at Real Madrid in the Champions League.
Captain Steven Gerrard, who returned for the last few minutes in Madrid, is likely to start, though Benitez has to wait on the fitness of striker Fernando Torres, who turned his ankle in midweek.
“I was told by the doctor that Torres’s ankle wasn’t that bad and we could keep him on the pitch,” Benitez said after the Spaniard stayed on until the hour mark at the Bernabeu.
“He was struggling in the second half so we took him off for fresh legs. Torres will probably now miss some games. We have a game in three days so it will be difficult for him to make that.”
Chelsea, three points behind Liverpool in third place, have looked a different side since the arrival of Guus Hiddink to replace Luiz Felipe Scolari as manager.
The London side play Wigan at Stamford Bridge with renewed belief that perhaps the gap between themselves and United may not be insurmountable.
“We’re 10 points down on Manchester United, which will be very difficult but we will give it a try,” the Dutchman said.
“The players are used to winning trophies so let’s try and repeat it. If they don’t you can’t be happy.”
Aston Villa, one point behind Chelsea, continue their quest for a Champions League spot with a home clash against Stoke City on Sunday, while Arsenal can close to within three points of them if they see off Fulham at the Emirates Stadium the day before.
At the other end of the table, bottom side West Bromwich Albion face a tricky task as they play Everton at Goodison Park, while Hull City, without a win in 10 league matches, entertain Blackburn Rovers.
Bolton Wanderers play Newcastle United and West Ham take on Manchester City in the weekend’s other games.
- Manchester United stay in hunt as Chelsea suffer setback - Dec 27, 2011
- Man U's Neville says City are 'major challengers' for Premier League title - Oct 11, 2010
- Chelsea aims to finally win Champions League this season: Anelka - Aug 07, 2010
- Manchester United maintain lead over Liverpool - Apr 12, 2009
- Manchester City top Premier League as Bolton takes emotional win - Mar 25, 2012
- Mourinho may return to UK Premier League in 2012 - Mar 12, 2011
- Man City heading for Champions League - Apr 26, 2011
- Dangerous Torres turning up heat on Liverpool's top-four rivals - Apr 10, 2010
- Flop Torres cost Chelsea 75K pounds a minute - Apr 14, 2011
- Benitez asks Liverpool to win every game to grab a Champions League spot - Apr 05, 2010
- Fergie, Benitez criticize Premier League for timing of end-of-season fixtures - May 01, 2010
- Manchester United prepare for road to history - Mar 03, 2009
- Fergie writes off Chelsea's Premier League title challenge - Feb 26, 2011
- Mourinho commits future to Madrid after Champions League failure - Apr 26, 2012
- Torres refuses to give up Chelsea's Premier League title hopes - Feb 08, 2011
Tags: bernabeu, captain steven, carling cup, dutchman, english premier league, felipe scolari, fernando torres, four points, hiddink, hotspur, london feb, luiz felipe, manchester city, midweek, rafael benitez, real madrid, spaniard, stamford bridge, steven gerrard, winning the title