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Mixed injury news for Reds

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Ryan Babel was unable to accompany the Liverpool party which left for Budapest on Monday morning. The Dutchman failed to recover from an ankle injury suffered against Manchester City at the weekend. His absence further limits the striking options available to Rafael Benitez who remains without Fernando Torres and Albert Riera.

However, the news was slightly better in defence. Daniel Agger who was also forced off the field at the weekend and Glen Johnson who missed the Premiership game with a calf injury were amongst the 18 players heading out to Hungary.

Steven Gerrard is likely to play though his participation may be courtesy of a pain killing injection for his groin problem.

Liverpool need a win but victory for Fiorentina at home to Lyon would mean the Reds would make an exit no matter what happens at the Ferenc Puskas Stadium. Despite this the skipper was upbeat about chances of making the next phase saying: "The mood in the camp is really good, although we know our position in the table isn't good enough. But we have faith in our ability. We know we can put things right."

At a press conference staged prior to the match Jamie Carragher told reporters that the French side who have never lost to Fiorentina in the competition and beat their hosts the last time they visited Florence didn't lack motivation despite already having qualified for the last 16.

The centre-back said: "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.

He added: "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."

Earlier Rafa Benitez who admits Liverpool require something approaching a miracle to make it through urged his players to concentrate only on matters they could affect saying: "The main thing for us is to concentrate on our game and see what happens. We have to prepare our game because we don't have any influence over the other one. If we can do our job and win, we'll see.

The manager who stands to see the team eliminated at the group stage or the first time in his five year tenure of the Anfield hotseat added: "I think we can do it. We have some players coming back from injury, so hopefully with a bit of luck we can progress.

"It's football, so you never know. We'll see if we can keep going in the Champions League."

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 November 2009 00:23 )