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Thursday, 8th April 2010
Kick Off : 20:05 BST
Venue : Anfield, Liverpool

The Europa League quarterfinals match between Liverpool and Benfica will take place at Anfield on Thursday 8 April 2010, kick-off set for 8:05 PM. Portuguese side Benfica’s visit to Anfield is relevant because is not an event like the other matches that Liverpool have played in this season. There is an undeniable sense of urgency that simply was not present in any other recent match. It surely goes beyond the so called race for the fourth spot in the EPL, it means to rescue some prestige at the European level.

With the planning for next season already in motion what is critical right now is Liverpool’s basically last chance to put forth a quality performance and progress to the title game in the Europa League. Again, maybe not something that carries much weight for the fans but the chance to be one of only eight teams left playing in the continental competitions is nothing to complain about, although the Europa League is not to be compared with the quality of the Chamipons League.
Liverpool reports that Spanish striker Fernando Torres is fit to play but the Reds will be without suspended Ryan Babel and Emiliano Insua. Maxi Rodriguez is ineligible.

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Benfica has said that their attacking trio, Cardozo, Angel Di Maria and Pablo Aimar are expected to carry the side’s offensive threats once again at Anfield.

Liverpool Vs Benfica

Benfica’s Oscar Cardozo has warned that his squad will be going into the pitch in an all-out attacking mode because Anfield holds no fears for the Portuguese club. He scored two penalty goals to give Benfica a first leg lead over Liverpool and insisted they are the favourites to go through in the Europa League. Cardozo, 26, said that they showed in the first leg that Benfica can give Liverpool many problems and that the team will go to Liverpool in good form and without any fear.

Furthermore, he explained that he would love to score the winning goal at Liverpool and he does not thwy will plan to be defensive at Anfield. Indeed, that is not their style apparently. In the last few weeks much has been said about a crisis at Liverpool but Benitez still have good players available and in Fernando Torres the Reds have a world class striker. The challenge is, once again, to demonstrate on the field all the things that look so good in paper.

My prediction: 2-1

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By Matt

Matt is the owner and chief-editor of the Footy Blog, one of the UK's leading football news blogs.