Manager Benitez downbeat about Liverpool winning Premier League

December 12th, 2008 - 9:52 pm ICT by IANS  

ChelseaLondon, Dec 12 (IANS) Rafael Benitez says he can write off Liverpool’s chances of winning the Premier League title, never mind even if they are leading the table losing only once in 16 outings. Come to think of it, Liverpool have defeated both Manchester United and Chelsea, kicking off the season splendidly. And they look good to win the championship for the first time since 1990, but manager Benitez is not so upbeat about their chances.

“For us to win the league we need Chelsea, Man United and Arsenal to mess up their season,” he was quoted by the Sun.

“It is very rare that three teams all mess up. So there’s no point waiting for our direct adversaries to slip up because it won’t happen. They all have a lot greater financial means than us.”

Liverpool lead Chelsea by a point and enjoy a six-point advantage over United, who have a game in hand.

Benítez’s comments may be designed to ease the pressure on his squad before a couple of crucial games.

“For me Valencia and Liverpool are similar — for them to win, the bigger clubs have to do badly,” added the 48-year-old Spaniard, a Champions League winner with Liverpool.

“When I won La Liga with Valencia that’s what happened, Real Madrid and Barcelona were in transition, so it was easier.”

Benítez, who is all set to signing a new contract to keep him at Liverpool until 2013, has been circumspect about his team’s chances of winning the Premier League title, a trophy which the club’s captain, Steven Gerrard, has described as his No.1 target.

Yet the manager indicated earlier this season that he believed Liverpool were capable of ending their long search for the championship, which last came to Anfield when Kenny Dalglish was the manager.

After Xabi Alonso had given the side a 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge in October, ending Chelsea’s unbeaten home league record after 86 matches, he said: “To win here sends a massive message to the other teams of what we can do and tells our fans what we are about.

“To come here with that mentality and showing the character the players showed gives us a big boost for the rest of the season.”

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