Thursday, March 26, 2009

Skrtel and Reira expect United to Crumble

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel believes Manchester United could crumble under the pressure as the end of the season draws near.

The Reds beat United 4-1 at Old Trafford nearly two weeks ago to start their title charge and with Sir Alex Ferguson's men dropping more points at Fulham, the gap at the top is now down to a point.

United still have their game in hand but the 24-year-old defender, who will play against England in the friendly with Slovakia on Saturday, is confident that the league leaders can slip up again.

"I think yes, because there are eight games left or so," he told "They are also in the UEFA Champions League. A lot of points are still up for grabs, and although they have a match against Portsmouth in hand, they will not have it easy against them.

"I just hope that we will stay in-form, they will slip-up and we will jump over them in the table."

Despite thumping Villa at Anfield on Sunday, Skrtel insists Martin O'Neill's top four hopefuls, Aston Villa, can spring a surprise when they visit United after the international break.

"It will not be an easy game for them. Aston Villa are still aiming for a Champions League spot and will not give them anything easy," he added. "We will see. It would be great if they could play better than against us and steal a point or three from United."

The Slovakian international also expressed his delight that Benitez had finally signed a new contract, after expressing his view that he had improved as a player under the Spaniard.

"It is good for us players as well as for the fans and the whole club, because Benitez has done a great piece of work during his time at Liverpool," he explained. "He is enormously popular here and I think that he is a coach of great qualities. He has also helped me personally.

"He has taught me a lot. Thanks to him we work a lot on tactics and game discipline. I have improved in both aspects."

Meanwhile, winger Albert Riera says confidence is growing in the camp that they can beat United to the title.

"Liverpool are playing really, really well in this moment," Riera told Sky Sports News. "The season is really, really complicated and you have to play well and the reality is you have to play ten months at the highest level and sometimes it is very, very difficult.

"For example we started really well, we were on the top of the table. After December and January we had some problems making a lot of draws at home but not losing.

"I think we were just not playing really well and the other teams wanted to beat who was top of the table that we were before. Now we are in a different position, but in a great position to fight for the title.

"We are one point behind Manchester United and we are really confident that this is the most important time."

Riera believes the pressure is on United after losing their last two games and he insists Liverpool will fight to the end to try and bring the championship back to Anfield.

"The feelings on the pitch are really well and we are in a great situation to fight and when you are behind somebody I think the pressure is for the other team," added Riera.

"Of course we have to wait as they are still in front of us, but we have a lot of confidence in ourselves and really good feelings.

"They are one point in front of us and have to play one match more than us as well, but the next two months we have a lot of important matches in the Premier League and Champions League, matches with a lot of pressure and we will be there waiting that they will not win every single match.

"We have to win every single match and I promised a long time ago we would fight for title and this is the promise we can do because to fight is compulsory and we will see at the end.

"We have a lot of confidence, a lot of good feelings and we will see what happens at the end of the season."

No comments :

Post a Comment