Berizzo, en la sala de prensa de Anfield Road
First team


The coach analysed an exciting test at Anfield, and sees Saturday's good performance against Eibar as the reference point to get something positive out of the Liverpool game

Eduardo Berizzo spoke to the media in Anfield's press room after the team finished training on the stadium's pitch. The Argentinian coach did not beat around the bush in telling them the team was on the up, and affirmed that way to get something positive against Liverpool was to repeat the side's performance against Eibar: "In the league we found some consistency. We showed ourselves to be very defensively solid and in the match against Eibar we let our attack free and found a performance which gives us confidence. The hope is to continue building on that performance, continue with our possession, continue attacking dynamically and creatively and become that dominant team on the ball. If you ask me, I would like to play a lot like we did against Eibar and even better." 

"The hope is to continue building on that performance, continue with our possession of the ball, continue attacking dynamically and creatively"

Many analysts have suggested that the clash against Liverpool could be key in deciding the leader of Group E. Asked about this, and his view on Sevilla in the group, Berizzo avoided any kind of label, as any favourite tag must be proved on the pitch: "I think every game is crucial and being favourites has to be put into practice, it's not something I understand in theory. No match will be more important than another... We are humble, we are cautious and we have high ambitions... I don't think a pre-existent favourite exists and if it does, it's a matter of who can carry that onto the pitch and prove it with their football. The ambition of wanting to be first has to translate on the field."

"The ambition of wanting to be first has to translate on the field"

The coach was also questioned about Luis Muriel, and his chances of playing in the match: "I see him as capable of starting, but that doesn't mean to say I will start him... but yes I see him as fighting for the spot with Wissam. They're two very dangerous forwards with different qualities. We trust Luis a lot and we are aware of his potential. I see him as capable of finding a place in the side, developing and giving us all the potential to be a great footballer we know he has." 

"Tomorrow will be a huge test for us from a physical standpoint"

In any event, he said "we will decide the team tomorrow, there could be a few changes. I tend to leave it until as late as possible in order to see the recuperation of everyone and wait until the final minute so I can pick the strongest side. Tomorrow will be a huge test for us from a physical standpoint. It will be a match that that imposes a lot of tight pressure, so the selection needs to be appropriate to deal with that workload, above all else in the half of the field that will be especially demanding."

"Tomorrow we hope to play our best football on the biggest of stages"

Whoever plays, Berizzo seemed clear that there would be no fear of the stage: "Footballers are excited, motivated and strengthened on stages like this. Stages like this come about a couple of times in a lifetime... Character rears its head in games like this and we have a really brave squad. Tomorrow we hope to play our best football on the biggest of stages."

Finally, Berizzo didn't want to pay any notice to Liverpool's weekend defeat against Man City, especially given they played over an hour with ten men: "I think there's no precedent, having played almost all the match one man down. The 4-0 win against Arsenal is a much better point of reference than the 5-0 against City. It's a very dangerous side, very direct, three very quick forwards and a strong centre of midfield. They played more than an our with ten men against City and it's no point of reference tactically. They're very strong at home, they maintain a system, they play the same every time, built on very good playmakers in the centre of the park and direct and destabilising attackers. We'll have to keep hold of the ball, use it with intelligence... We'll have to spend a lot of time using the ball in the opposition half with caution and avoiding counter-attacks that could do us harm."

Communication Department