Liverpool striker Fernando Torres will again be on the bench for Thursday’s Europa League clash against Unirea Urziceni as boss Rafael Benitez pledges not to rush him back.

The Spain international made his long-awaited comeback from a knee operation after five weeks out in a 15-minute substitute appearance in Sunday’s goalless draw at Manchester City.

But, with their Barclays Premier League campaign of much more importance than their European exploits – where they hold a 1-0 lead from last week’s first leg at Anfield – Benitez is taking a cautious approach with the 25-year-old.

„We knew we could use him against City. The idea was for 15-20 minutes but still he is not ready,” said Benitez.

„He needs match fitness and has to play and train, and we will see later on how he is coming along.

„He was doing very well with the physios and fitness coach. He is really happy.

„We decided to put him in the squad (against City) because he was training well last Friday. Now he can carry on and progress. He will be ready soon.”

Benitez’s squad is now almost at full fitness as, with David Ngog having recovered from an ankle injury that kept him out at Eastlands, only defender Glen Johnson remains on the sidelines.

After a frustrating tie against Unirea at Anfield – when Ngog scored the only goal – Benitez hopes the fact the hosts have to score will mean his side have more openings.

„We have to believe that the away leg will be different because they will have to attack and that will leave more spaces, and maybe we can create more clear chances,” said the Spaniard.

And if Benitez wants Unirea to attack, he will be boosted by the words of opposite number Roni Levy, who pledged to do just that.

„I believe at home we will try to attack more and with the support of our fans maybe we can surprise Liverpool,” said Levy, whose side are in only their second successive season of European competition.

Unirea will be without Argentinian defender Pablo Brandan as his booking in the first leg rules him out with suspension.

Unirea Urziceni coach Roni Levy intends to attack Liverpool.

Having restricted the Merseysiders to a solitary Ngog goal almost a week ago at Anfield with a resolute defensive display, the Romanian champions need to change their emphasis.

Thursday’s game is being played at Steaua Bucharest’s stadium as Urinea’s 7,000 capacity ground does not meet UEFA standards but Levy still hopes to use home advantage.

„I believe at home we will try to attack more and with the support of our fans maybe we can surprise Liverpool,” said Levy, whose side are in only their second successive season of European competition.

Midfielder Sorin Paraschiv was one of the players who provided the defensive screen at Anfield but he admits they cannot afford to be so negative this time around.

He pointed to their previous performances in the Champions League which, like Liverpool, they exited in December when they beat Sevilla – currently fourth in La Liga – at home and held Stuttgart and Rangers to 1-1 draws in Bucharest.

„I don’t think we’ll defend, not with the crowd behind us, pushing us on. We’ll aim to do more,” he said.

„At home we have played very well in Europe. We beat Sevilla so perhaps we can do the same against Liverpool, although I think Liverpool right now are stronger than Sevilla.”

Read the article on ITV.COM

Unirea Urziceni v Liverpool

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres will again be on the bench for Thursday’s Europa League clash against Unirea Urziceni as boss Rafael Benitez pledges not to rush him back.

The Spain international made his long-awaited comeback from a knee operation after five weeks out in a 15-minute substitute appearance in Sunday’s goalless draw at Manchester City.

But, with their Barclays Premier League campaign of much more importance than their European exploits – where they hold a 1-0 lead from last week’s first leg at Anfield – Benitez is taking a cautious approach with the 25-year-old.

„We knew we could use him against City. The idea was for 15-20 minutes but still he is not ready,” said Benitez.

„He needs match fitness and has to play and train, and we will see later on how he is coming along.

„He was doing very well with the physios and fitness coach. He is really happy.

„We decided to put him in the squad (against City) because he was training well last Friday. Now he can carry on and progress. He will be ready soon.”

Benitez’s squad is now almost at full fitness as, with David Ngog having recovered from an ankle injury that kept him out at Eastlands, only defender Glen Johnson remains on the sidelines.

After a frustrating tie against Unirea at Anfield – when Ngog scored the only goal – Benitez hopes the fact the hosts have to score will mean his side have more openings.

„We have to believe that the away leg will be different because they will have to attack and that will leave more spaces, and maybe we can create more clear chances,” said the Spaniard.

And if Benitez wants Unirea to attack, he will be boosted by the words of opposite number Roni Levy, who pledged to do just that.

„I believe at home we will try to attack more and with the support of our fans maybe we can surprise Liverpool,” said Levy, whose side are in only their second successive season of European competition.

Unirea will be without Argentinian defender Pablo Brandan as his booking in the first leg rules him out with suspension.

Unirea Urziceni coach Roni Levy intends to attack Liverpool.

Having restricted the Merseysiders to a solitary Ngog goal almost a week ago at Anfield with a resolute defensive display, the Romanian champions need to change their emphasis.

Thursday’s game is being played at Steaua Bucharest’s stadium as Urinea’s 7,000 capacity ground does not meet UEFA standards but Levy still hopes to use home advantage.

„I believe at home we will try to attack more and with the support of our fans maybe we can surprise Liverpool,” said Levy, whose side are in only their second successive season of European competition.

Midfielder Sorin Paraschiv was one of the players who provided the defensive screen at Anfield but he admits they cannot afford to be so negative this time around.

He pointed to their previous performances in the Champions League which, like Liverpool, they exited in December when they beat Sevilla – currently fourth in La Liga – at home and held Stuttgart and Rangers to 1-1 draws in Bucharest.

„I don’t think we’ll defend, not with the crowd behind us, pushing us on. We’ll aim to do more,” he said.

„At home we have played very well in Europe. We beat Sevilla so perhaps we can do the same against Liverpool, although I think Liverpool right now are stronger than Sevilla.”

Read the article on ITV.COM

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