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Liverpool boss Benitez has no Riise doubts

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has no doubts over John Arne Riise ahead of tonight's Champions League semifinal at Chelsea.

The manager said: "That was the best we have played against Chelsea in a Champions League semi-final. The previous two were 50-50, or perhaps 60-40, but, despite the scoreline, we were so clearly the better team in this one. I was so disappointed at conceding such a late goal and we were all deflated. But after analysing it again we must take confidence from the way we dominated the game and created the better chances.

"Riise has been training well and he clearly wants to make a difference at the right end. That came across in a one-to-one we had. He wanted to talk to me and he said he was ready and strong and I could have confidence in him, so we will see.

"The main thing is we stay compact as a team. The plan is simple really. We need to score and ideally to win. If we draw 1-1 we know Pepe Reina is good at penalties. The aim is to progress and when I look at the mood of my players I am confident we will do it."

Benitez must also to decide whether to keep faith with the fitful Ryan Babel.

"He has the pace and ability to change a game and he can be a matchwinner," said Benitez. "But the key is whether he can start at that level or be more effective coming off the bench."

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Tribal Football Staff

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