Liverpool's Benitez wants goals to rain in Spain on Madrid trip

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is in bullish mood ahead of the Reds' first-leg Europa semi-final against Atletico Madrid.....

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is in bullish mood ahead of the Reds’ first-leg Europa semi-final against Atletico Madrid.

The Anfield club have had to travel by train to Spain with the recent volcano ash cloud disrupting travel all over Europe.

And although preparations have not been ideal, the former Valencia chief knows the importance of getting to the competition’s final, with qualification for next year’s Champions League almost certainly out of their reach.

However, they have been dealt a huge blow with the weekend’s news that star man Fernando Torres will miss the rest of the season following surgery.

Benitez said: "We have to score because we know that Atletico Madrid are very dangerous on the counter attack.

"They have pace in attack, real pace and ability.

"They have had some problems in the league and are not consistent but they are good in cup competitions.

"There is a big difference between our games at home and away, we have to improve by showing character.

"In Europe we are strong and it’s not easy to beat us away.

"We have the quality to beat anyone.

"We have to score and be sure that we can do a good job here.

"But to lose Fernando for both games is a huge disappointment for us."

Even without Torres though, Liverpool will still have captain fantastic Steven Gerrard ready to lead the side and he is at 7/1 with Boylesports to be first goalscorer in the fixture.

The game is live on Five, with kick-off at 8.05pm.

Odds correct at time of writing and are subject to change