Owen aims to beat Rush's goals record

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The Independent Football

Michael Owen has spent the past seven months on the brink of eclipsing Ian Rush's all-time Liverpool goalscoring record in Europe. But he is expected to write himself into Anfield history when Liverpool embark on their Uefa Cup campaign in Slovenia tonight.

Back in February when Owen scored in this same competition against Auxerre at Anfield he equalled Rush's European mark of 20 goals. Grabbing the extra goal he needed to set an outright European record eluded Owen through both legs of the quarter-final against Celtic as the Scots famously dumped Liverpool out of the competition before striding on to the final themselves. Yet the European minnows of Olimpija Ljubljana should be a completely different proposition in the ramshackle Centralni Stadium tonight.

"The main thing is we get through, but nothing would please me more than to break the European record," Owen said. "To be honest, I would rather not score and the side won. But in an ideal world I would take both."

Stéphane Henchoz has travelled with the squad as he continues his recovery from a calf problem. But he may not be risked before important league games against Charlton and Arsenal. El-Hadji Diouf is suspended and that means that Danny Murphy or the youngster Anthony Le Tallec could come into midfield.