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Arbeloa up for Marseille contest

Liverpool FC right-back Álvaro Arbeloa has urged his team-mates to think positive as they prepare to meet Olympique de Marseille at Anfield, noting: "We have a lot of confidence in ourselves and we are playing really well."

Álvaro Arbeloa is looking forward with hope
Álvaro Arbeloa is looking forward with hope ©Getty Images

Liverpool FC defender Álvaro Arbeloa urged his team-mates to forget about their frustrating 0-0 draw against Fulham FC on Saturday and to look on the bright side, as they meet Olympique de Marseille at Anfield in UEFA Champions League Group D.

Top target
Qualification for the knockout stage is the Spain full-back's priority, and that will be guaranteed if Liverpool beat Marseille on Wednesday, although a draw would be enough provided fellow frontrunners Club Atlético de Madrid avoid defeat against PSV Eindhoven. Arbeloa said: "It's really important. We want to win and, if it's possible, finish first in the group to get a better position in the draw. Marseille have some good players with quality and pace, and they won here last season [1-0], so we know that it will be a difficult game."

League stalemate
Being held at home by Fulham at the weekend meant Liverpool missed out on opening up a two-point gap at the top of the English Premier League. However, with joint-leaders Chelsea FC also drawing 0-0 with Newcastle United FC and third-placed Manchester United FC being locked out in a stalemate at Aston Villa FC, Arbeloa sees no cause for concern. "There is a little bit of frustration because we lost two points, but Chelsea and Manchester United didn't win, so we are in the same position and it wasn't so bad. That was the only positive at the end," he said.

Confidence high
The 25-year-old insisted that Liverpool are well on track at this stage of the season, telling anyone doubting their trophy-winning credentials to keep a sense of perspective. "I think we are doing a great job defensively, but so is the whole team. That's the way that we have to keep going; defending well and taking our chances in attack," he said. "We have a lot of confidence in ourselves and we are playing really well. We are in a good position, we are top of the table in the Premier League and in the Champions League."

Cana hope
Meanwhile, captain Lorik Cana knows OM must match last term's group-stage success on Merseyside to maintain their interest in the tournament. "This place has good memories as a ground for us, but we have still lost two of our last three games against Liverpool," the 25-year-old midfielder said. "We have to repeat last year's exploits if we want to have any future in this competition and the idea is to push forward if we can. We've got a game ahead of us, for which we need to sit down in the dressing room, take a look at each other and see how we perform."