x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Benitez sets a bench mark

Rafael Benitez backs Liverpool to march into the Carling Cup quarter-finals with a revenge win at Spurs.

Rafael Benitez has backed Liverpool to march into the Carling Cup quarter-finals with a revenge win at Spurs because he knows he has players desperate to prove themselves. Benitez will make wholesale changes for the fourth-round tie at White Hart Lane, scene of the Reds' only defeat this season when Spurs fought back to claim a late 2-1 victory.

The bulk of that side will not be on show tomorrow, although Benitez is considering using Fernando Torres from the start as he recovers from a hamstring injury. Benitez said: "We have enough players in the squad waiting for their chance to impress, it will be important for them to grab this opportunity. "And when the team is playing well it is easier to change players and retain the system. I believe we can still continue to play well and to keep winning regardless of the players we use."

Harry Redknapp admits Tottenham will lose their grip on the Carling Cup if there is a repeat of their performance against Liverpool during his first week in charge at White Hart Lane. Spurs could have been dead and buried against Benitez's men when they met in the Premier League, only for Jamie Carragher's own goal and a last-ditch winner from Roman Pavlyuchenko to give them a 2-1 victory. "We played Liverpool and beat them but let's face it, they murdered us," Redknapp said.

Blackburn manager Paul Ince has championed Roy Keane as "a leader of men" and backed his former Manchester United teammate to turn Sunderland's fortunes around. The two men come face to face tonight in the Carling Cup fourth-round tie at the Stadium of Light, and Ince is looking forward to the reunion. Ince said: "We had a great partnership at United. He was a fantastic player and we had some good times together. He was always a leader of men. I wish him all the success in the world."

The Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari is expected to include striker Didier Drogba and midfielder Joe Cole in the squad to face Burnley. * PA Sport