Tuesday 17 October 2017

Benitez ready for road trip

Rafa Benitez. Photo: Getty Images
Rafa Benitez. Photo: Getty Images

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is confident his players will cope with the upheaval surrounding their preparations for the Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid.

UEFA have ruled the first leg will go ahead on Thursday and so the Reds have had to make plans to cover much of the 2,600-mile trip to Madrid overland starting on Tuesday afternoon, with the last part of the journey involving a flight from Bordeaux airport.

"We will not have too many days to be ready for an important game but hopefully the journey will be good," said Benitez after his side's 3-0 victory over West Ham at Anfield on Monday night.

There is, however, an option to switch to a plane in London if European airspace is re-opened.

Benitez added: "We can try to prepare plan A and plan B. Everything is ready and we will go tomorrow. There are not too many options (for postponing the game). We have to manage now.

"We have to go and it depends on the airports; if they are open we can fly and it will be easier. But we have to go by train to London just in case and then we will see.

"It is well organised. We have to be there early but it is not a problem."

Plans for their return are still to be finalised, which leaves preparations for Sunday's 3pm kick-off at Burnley up in the air.

Liverpool made it 10 successive victories at Anfield as former Hammers midfielder Yossi Benayoun and David Ngog put the hosts 2-0 up in the first half before goalkeeper Robert Green's unfortunate own goal finished off his side after the break

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