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Babel rejects talk of pressure

Failure to go through would constitute a blow to both their pockets and their pride, yet Ryan Babel rejects the notion that Liverpool FC are feeling the strain.

Forward Ryan Babel insists Liverpool FC are under no more pressure than usual ahead of Tuesday's UEFA Champions League Group A showdown at Olympique de Marseille – a match they almost certainly need to win to ensure they progress.

Liverpool expectations
Failure to go through would be disastrous for the five-time winners, constituting a blow to both their pockets and their pride, yet Babel rejects the notion that he and his team-mates are feeling the strain. "If you play for a club like Liverpool, there's always pressure," he said. "The boys want to win but we always want to win. The financial implications don't have much impact on us, although we know how important the match will be."

Poor start
The visitors' relaxed attitude may well spring from the fact they are fortunate to be alive in the competition at all, having taken just one point from their opening three fixtures. Many were ready to write them off at that stage, but they bounced back impressively with a record-breaking 8-0 victory over Beşiktaş JK and a 4-1 win against FC Porto last time out. "We've definitely got more confidence now thanks to our last two games in the Champions League," explained Babel. "Because of those results, we really think we can get the win here."

Competition fierce
The Dutch international came off the bench to score twice in the Beşiktaş romp and earned himself a starting spot against Porto, however he has had to accept a substitute's role in Liverpool's two domestic encounters since then. It has not always been easy for the pacy 20-year-old since leaving AFC Ajax in the summer, and with competition fierce for berths in attack, he will probably vie with Harry Kewell and Yossi Benayoun for a place on the left or right flank against Marseille. "He's playing well at the moment," added his coach Rafael Benítez. "He's good up front but he knows he sometimes has to play on the wings for the team."