Tuesday, September 12, 2006

CL Day 1 Roundup

Dirk Kuyt and Craig Bellamy will be given the opportunity to unleash their derby frustration on PSV Eindhoven tonight.

The £15m strike duo will be paired in Holland, as the Reds seek an instant return to form in their opening Champions League group tie.

Neither player started at Goodison on Saturday, and Rafa Benitez was forced to shrug off ridiculous rumours of a bust-up with Bellamy following the Welshman's absence from the squad.
Now the pair, who many presume will be established as the preferred choice as the season progresses, will start together for the first time.

Kuyt is hoping to reap the rewards from appearing on familiar territory.

He's scored three in his last two appearances against PSV, and also scored at the Philips Stadion for Holland last week.

"Dirk is ready to play, and maybe he and Craig will start," Benitez said. "But we will decide the team later today."

Kuyt says the players are grateful for an early opportunity to bounce back from their weekend disappointment.

"We want to put in a good performance for the first Champions League game, but it's also very important to get a good result after what happened on Saturday," he said.

"We have a feeling of revenge. It's really disappointing to lose a derby. It was my first derby for Liverpool, and when you lose it's not funny.

"It's good when you have another game a few days later. Winning would give us a better feeling."

Naturally, Kuyt is expecting to make his first start for Liverpool in his homeland.

He said: "As a player, you must always assume you will be playing in an important match and be ready."

Meanwhile, its desparate times at Stamford Bridge when they have to advertise in the Metro to sell their tickets for a HOME CL game.

Here are some of their previous efforts:

Shevchenko a boyhood red?

'Shevchenko still reflects starry-eyed about his boyhood hero: "I treasured those boots (given to him by Ian Rush) for years. It meant such a lot because everyone in Ukraine knew about Ian Rush, the legendary Liverpool player," he said.

"Funnily enough, the boots were too small for me but I still tried to play in them - until my big toes poked through. I even tried to cover up the holes because I wasn't able to buy new boots as nice as them. It would be great to think now Ian Rush is watching to see how I've developed since back then." '


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