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Liverpool takes on slumping PSV in Champions League quarterfinals

Liverpool takes on slumping PSV in Champions League quarterfinals

PSV Eindhoven will be battling to overcome injuries and recent lackluster form in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals against Liverpool on Tuesday.
Liverpool, however, may even leave out striker Peter Crouch despite his hat trick against Arsenal on Saturday.
While the Reds thrashed Arsenal 4-1 at Anfield with defenders Steve Finnan and Sami Hyypia and strikers Craig Bellamy and Dirk Kuyt sitting out or not starting, PSV could only draw 1-1 at NAC Breda.
"We had to use the squad to be sure we went into the PSV game with as many people as possible fresh and ready," Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez said Monday.
"PSV had people at Anfield to watch us, and they will have seen us score four against Arsenal, who they beat in the last Champions League round. I hope they left worried."
Defender Alex, whose equalizer against Arsenal took PSV into the quarterfinals, will miss Tuesday's game. PSV has not won since he injured his hamstring on March 11.
PSV will also be without striker Arouna Kone (knee), while midfielder Ibrahim Afellay, who made his debut for Netherlands last week, will have a scan later Monday on his injured hamstring and is in doubt.
"We need to forget all our problems and concentrate on tomorrow," PSV coach Ronald Koeman said.
But Benitez said he would not underestimate PSV.
"Whatever their supposed problems are with form or injuries, they will fight for this with everything they possess, have no fears about that," Benitez said.
Liverpool and PSV met twice in the Champions League group phase. It was 0-0 in Eindhoven before Liverpool won 2-0 at Anfield in a match played after both teams had qualified for the knockout stage.
Koeman, who played for PSV when it won its only European Cup in 1988, conceded it would be tough for his team to advance _ but warned Liverpool against complacency.
"To have a chance you have to be good and complete. We are neither at the moment," he said. But "Liverpool will have to be in form to beat us."
Five-time European champion Liverpool also had the luxury of substituting England midfielder Steven Gerrard after an hour against Arsenal.
"We made decisions ahead of the Arsenal game not to use players who had been away on international duty," Benitez said. "Sometimes it is easier to do that against a smaller side, but against a very top side like Arsenal it is difficult."
Bellamy will play despite injuring his ribs playing for Wales in the European Championship qualifying.
"Craig will be OK," Benitez said. "He has sore ribs from the internationals, which is why he did not play against Arsenal. But I expect him to be OK to join the squad."
Kuyt, a Dutchman who played well against Barcelona at Anfield, also is hoping to start Tuesday.
"This is my first season in ... Champions League, and I am loving it. I know we can go to the final," said Kuyt, who spent three seasons at Feyenoord.
"That victory over Barcelona in the last round was the best moment of my career. That was a special night at Anfield and I want to experience more like that," Kuyt added.