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Leiva admits competition at Liverpool fierce

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has found the competition for places at Anfield more difficult than anticipated. The Brazil international faces a challenge to force his way into the first team, with captain Steven Gerrard, Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso ahead of him in the pecking order on Merseyside.

"It has been difficult but the good thing now is that I will be here for a month before Brazil play again," the 21 year old told the Liverpool Echo.

"It will be good for me because it means I do not have to travel and I can spend more time here and recover more.

"I already feel confident, though, because the manager picked me to play against Marseille in the Champions League and I also played against Aston Villa in the Premier League so hopefully now I will be able to play in more games.

"If you look at our midfield there is a lot of competition for places because there is Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano and myself so it will always be tough to get into the team.

"But this has to be good for the club because it means Rafa has options and he can choose the players he feels are best suited for a particular game.

"From a player's point of view it isn't easy because you want to play all the time but if you are at a top club like Liverpool you know you will have to fight for your place and it is the same for me as it is for everyone."

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