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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee