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Garcia to set Dogues on Liverpool

Published: Wednesday 10 March 2010, 20.00CET
Rudi Garcia admitted there was little point in urging his LOSC Lille Métropole side to hold back in their first leg against Liverpool FC, noting: "If I asked my players to take it easy, they wouldn't listen to me."
by Aurélien Sagnier
from Lille
Garcia to set Dogues on Liverpool
Lille's players are eager to test themselves against Liverpool ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

LOSCLiverpool

Goals scored19
 
14
Total attempts93
 
83
on target93
 
76
off target0
4
blocked0
3
against woodwork0
 
0
Corners51
 
44
Offsides38
 
26
Yellow cards21
 
15
Red Cards0
1
Fouls committed143
 
114
Fouls suffered158
 
92

Standings

Published: Wednesday 10 March 2010, 20.00CET

Garcia to set Dogues on Liverpool

Rudi Garcia admitted there was little point in urging his LOSC Lille Métropole side to hold back in their first leg against Liverpool FC, noting: "If I asked my players to take it easy, they wouldn't listen to me."

Rudi Garcia reminded his LOSC Lille Métropole side that they were "making history" as they prepared to meet Liverpool FC in the UEFA Europa League round of 16, adding that his team was "not built" to defend.

There is plenty of excitement in the Lille ranks about the visit of Rafael Benítez's side, with coach Garcia admitting that there was little point in telling his side that their main priority was Ligue 1. "If I asked my players to take it easy against Liverpool, they wouldn't listen to me," he joked.

Instead, he dared his men to dream despite the calibre of their rivals. "I'd prefer us to go down fighting playing our game rather than see us just trying to counter our opponents – our team is just not built to do that," he said. "At the beginning of the group stage we weren't favourites in a group with Valencia and Genoa, but we made it through. We're making history."

Matthieu Debuchy, European top scorer Gervinho – who has five goals to his name in this season's competition – and striker Túlio De Melo will miss the game through injury, while Adil Rami is yet to shake off a bout of flu, but the other Lille players are itching for action. Midfielder Yohan Cabaye is thrilled to have the opportunity to take on Steven Gerrard, noting: "He's a world-class player, but he has two legs and two arms just like me. I'll take him on, man against man."

Still dealing with the fall-out from Monday's 1-0 Premier League loss at Wigan Athletic FC, Benítez said Liverpool are eager to make amends although there are doubts over Yossi Benayoun's fitness. "This is an opportunity for us to do things right, try to get a good result and be ready for the next game," said the coach. "In football sometimes you prefer to have some time to rest, but now I think it is better to play games quickly."

Last updated: 10/03/10 20.10CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2010/matches/round=2000039/match=2000944/prematch/preview/index.html#garcia+lille+loose