Liverpool v Lille – Preview – 18 March 2010

rafa-benitezLiverpool v Lille
UEFA Europa League Round of 16 1st Leg
Anfield – Liverpool, England
18 March 2010 – 20:05 GMT

Liverpool heads back to Anfield with an 0-1 deficit from the first leg in the UEFA Europa League round of 16.

Liverpool v Lille Preview

Lille won the first leg 1-0 and will now try to advance to the quarterfinals with the second leg in England. Liverpool, who are out of the EPL title race and in danger of not qualifying for the Champions League, will need a solid performance on Thursday if they want to keep their Europa League title hopes alive.

Liverpool’s inability to score goals on the road was evident in the first leg. The good sign for the club is they’ve been averaging over two goals a match at home in the Premier League. They will be without Maxi Rodriguez (ineligible), Martin Skrtel (foot injury), and Fabio Aurelio (thigh injury) for Thursday’s match. Lille are without Nicolas Plestan, Mathieu Debuchy, Gervinho, and Tulio De Melo.

The home side will need at least a 2-0 win to advance with their inability to score an away goal in the first leg. Lille can force extra time with a 0-1 loss or with any draw on Thursday. While Liverpool have had a disappointing season, they have generally been in good form at home. Also, while Europa League is not as prestigious as the Champions League, a deep run in the tournament would help salvage the season.

Fernando Torres will be the focus of Liverpool’s attack and scored two goals in Monday’s 4-1 win against Portsmouth. Lille won 1-0 on Sunday against Grenoble and is led by leading goalscorer Gervinho with five in the Europa League.

Liverpool will need to attack and Lille will likely play a defensive style. If the home side can get an early goal then it will be a long night for the visitors. If Lille can keep it scoreless with 20-30 minutes in the second half, then the crowd at Anfield will be restless and Liverpool would falter under the pressure. Either way, it should be an entertaining match between two of the stronger clubs left in the Europa League.

The winner will advance to the quarterfinals which starts in a few weeks. The draw will be released on Friday.

Last Five Matches in Competition
Liverpool Lille
@Lille 1-0 Liverpool 1-0
@Unirea Urziceni 1-3 @Fenerbahce 1-1
Unirea Urziceni 1-0 Fenerbahce 2-1
Slavia Prague 3-1
@Valencia 3-1

Liverpool v Lille Prediction

Liverpool will win the match 3-1 and advance 3-2 on aggregate.

Watch Liverpool v Lille Live Online

You can watch Liverpool v Lille live online as well as all other Europa League games. Read our live Europa League football page for more details.

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