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Lucas ready for Chelsea by lfctalk
April 8, 2009, 13:53
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Brazilian midfielder Lucas has told Liverpoolfc.tv that he is looking forward to the prospect of facing Chelsea in the Champions League tonight.

With Javier Mascherano suspended, Lucas is hoping to keep his place in the midfield after starting against Fulham at the weekend.

“Hopefully I will play because it is a very big team in a very important competition,” he said.

“With Javier being suspended it probably means that I have more of a chance of playing but I will not know if I am until the manager names the team.”

“I was happy with the way I played at Fulham on Saturday but there is a lot of competition for places at Liverpool and this means there are always lots of players who hope to be involved.”

“But if the manager chooses me then I will be ready.”

Rafa Benitez yesterday described Lucas as a “good player and a good professional” after criticism from the stands this season.

Lucas admits he is grateful for the backing of his boss and is desperate to repay the faith shown in him by Benitez and also his fellow Reds.

“After I got sent off in the FA Cup game against Everton it wasn’t a good time for me,” he said.

“But the manager kept giving me support and confidence and was telling people that I am a good player.”

“This helped me so much. But it wasn’t just the manager who supported me, my teammates helped me as well.”

“Now I want to play well for them and if I do play well it will show that Rafa was right to say that I am a good player – this is what I want to do.”

Lucas has seen his personal upturn in form conincide with that of the team’s, and a lot of that is thanks to winning so comfortably at Old Trafford he believes.

“I think the game away at Manchester was important for me because no-one expected us to go to Old Trafford and win in the way we did,” he added.

“When you are part of a team that plays so well and gets such a good result then it gives you even more confidence.”

“Everyone’s confidence is high at the moment because we have had some very good results but we know that Chelsea will be another tough game because they are tough.”

“But we are at home in front of our fans and we have to go into the game with a plan because we are looking to keep a clean sheet and also take whatever chances we can create.”

After missing out on last year’s disappointment against Chelsea, the Brazilian wants to sample the famous Anfield European atmosphere.

“I did not play in either of the legs of last year’s semi final when we played Chelsea but I can remember just how special the atmosphere was at Anfield,” he said.

“It was the same when we played Real Madrid at Anfield in the last round because the fans got behind us so much. They kept pushing and pushing us and when they are like that it makes things very difficult for our opponents.”

“All of the players got a lot of praise after that game but the fans were also important and hopefully they can help us again tonight.”

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