Football: Liverpool to concentrate on cutting out carelessness

Evans seeks European wins home and away. Ian Ridley reports from Paris

Ah, Paris in the spring... but the question for England's chances in the European Cup-Winners' Cup is whether there is some spring in Liverpool. Tonight in the Parc des Princes comes either confirmation of inconsistency or inspiration.

Liverpool's 2-1 defeat at home by Coventry City last Sunday illustrated again their capacity for carelessness, a foible that can cost so dearly in Europe though hitherto not seriously challenged by a side as proficient as Paris St-Germain. Maddeningly for them, it followed their splendid 2-1 victory at Arsenal when their superiority was all but overlooked by the foul and Fowler debate.

"I really couldn't spot any weaknesses at all," said the PSG general manager, Joel Bats, departing Anfield last weekend. Then again, he did so at 1-1 before David James did his stuff once more."They have so many aces up their sleeve," Bats added of the other side of their character. English hopes rest on the latter being the dominant Liverpool trait tonight.

"Our heads are back up," insists the Liverpool manager, Roy Evans, and indeed they should be confident enough, given PSG's season of some turmoil. Though holders of the trophy, they were comfortably beaten by Juventus in the Super Cup, conceding six goals at home. For the four previous years, PSG had always met their match in the semi-final in Europe, losing on the away-goals rule, as Arsenal will recall in 1994. "If that's on their minds, all well and good," Evans said.

Neither are PSG the team they were a few years ago when George Weah, David Ginola and Youri Djorkaeff bestrode the Parc. Much will rest on Patrice Loko, scorer of a hat-trick in the quarter-final against AEK Athens, with their Brazilian striker Leonardo likely to play only with an injection to kill the pain of a groin strain.

In defence, Didier Domi and Bruno N'Gotty are doubts with back and thigh injuries respectively, while Bernard Lama will play with the probability of suspension for cannabis use hanging over him.

In addition, in Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler et al, the patient passers of Liverpool possess a range of players always likely to grab the crucial away goal - more important now than ever, it seems, with more and more teams adept at the contain-and-counter game. Attack is therefore likely to be Liverpool's best form of defence.

"We must try and win both legs," Evans said. "It is not like it used to be in Europe any more. Every team is capable of scoring an away goal." He will recall Mark Wright, suspended last Sunday, to replace the ineligible Bjorn Tore Kvarme in defence. Further forward, Patrik Berger could consign Stan Collymore to the bench once more. Berger is seen as the more appropriate in a 4-5-1 formation.

That, at least, contains echoes of the way it used to be in Europe, with Liverpool often withdrawing Kenny Dalglish into the midfield behind Ian Rush for away legs. They will hope for another; yesterday Liverpool installed themselves in the same hotel in Versailles they used before the European Cup final of 1981, when they beat Real Madrid 1-0.

News
Jennifer Lawrence was among the stars allegedly hacked
peopleActress and 100 others on 'master list' after massive hack
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Primary Teacher

£100 - £130 per day + Excellent rates of pay, Free CPD: Randstad Education Sou...

Supply Teachers Required

£100 - £130 per day + Excellent rates of Pay, Excellent CPD : Randstad Educati...

NQT and Experienced Primary Teachers Urgently required

£90 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: NQT and Experienced Primary Teac...

Year 1 Teacher

£100 - £130 per day + Excellent rates of pay, Free CPD: Randstad Education Sou...

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor