Liverpool duo out to impress

September 16, 2014
Football - UEFA Competitions - Bet Now at Bet365

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and captain Steven Gerrard are both determined that the Reds will aim to make as big an impact as possible on their return to the Champions League.

Having been absent from the top European club competition since 2009/10, the Merseysiders are desperate to show that they are back where they belong, starting at home to Bulgarian champions Ludogorets Razgrad on Tuesday evening.

And boss Rodgers believes that reaching the knockout stages will be a good achievement for his side, as he told reporters: "I think success is about qualifying from the group.

"We will take one game at a time - we are at home in our first game and we aim to perform well and get three points, but we will respect them like we would if we were playing Real Madrid."

Holders Real and Swiss champions FC Basel complete the line-up in Group B, with Rodgers admitting: "Absolutely it is a learning curve, but it is one which excites us as well. There is certainly no fear of the competition."

Rodgers hopes to have Italian striker Mario Balotelli fit to feature after he picked up a knock at the weekend, while the clash with Ludogorets has come just too soon for defender Martin Skrtel, who has missed the last two Premier League games.

Meanwhile, skipper Gerrard, who tasted Champions League glory with the Reds back in 2005, is relishing the chance to compete against the European elite once again, adding: "Watching the likes of Chelsea and Man United in it when we were finishing outside the top four was tough.

"We need to enjoy it, but we're not in it to make the numbers up. We want to do as well as we can."

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