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Pepe – Reds can cope without Gerrard by lfctalk
March 9, 2009, 11:23
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Real Madrid defender Pepe has claimed Steven Gerrard makes little difference to Liverpool.

The Portuguese international believes that Liverpool do not rely on their captain and can cope without the England midfielder.

“Everything will be different in Anfield because I don’t expect Liverpool to play such a defensive football as they did in the Bernabeu,” Pepe told EFE.

“We have to make the most of it to go through. What worries me the most about Liverpool is their collective play.”

“They are all hard workers and know perfectly what they have to do once the game starts.”

“They are all quality players and (in case he does not play) Gerrard’s absence will not make any difference to them.”

Real Madrid boss Juande Ramos rested striker Gonzalo Higuain for the Madrid derby on Saturday and the Brazilian-born defender insists he and his colleagues need to accept these decisions.

“As footballers we have to be prepared for anything. The gaffer wanted to rest Higuain ahead of the game in Anfield because he’s a very important player to us. The squad have to back Juande’s decision.”

And Real skipper Raul feels that his side have the edge with Juande Ramos at the helm.

“We have a clear idea of what we have to do – score twice,” Raul told The Times.

“The other day we were hit strongly by the defeat, but we know we are going to have our chances and we are not going to give up.”

“We are capable of beating Liverpool at Anfield. Since the arrival of Juande Ramos we are more disciplined.”

“At the beginning of the season we had a lot of problems – we were scoring goals, but letting them in as well and that cost us a lot of points. We are now in good shape, above all physically and mentally.”

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