Liverpool look to turn the tide

Atletico Madrid hold edge over Merseysiders; Fulham host Hamburg

Liverpool look to turn the tide

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard during a team training session at Melwood grounds on Wednesday. AFP

Poor form and injuries to key players like Spain striker Fernando Torres have ensured a season of unfulfilled ambitions so far at Anfield.

"I am confident. Anfield is massive and with the fans behind us we can beat anyone," Liverpool coach Rafa Benitez said.

The five times European champions, chasing their fourth UEFA/Europa Cup, have twice progressed in the competition this season after losing first-leg ties against Lille and Benfica.
However, Atletico, who won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1962 and finished European Cup runners-up in 1974, have their impressive scoring form away from home to thank for a last four berth.

They have bagged six goals on their travels and managed only two at home in their two wins and five draws this season.

The Spanish side have a chance to finish their campaign on a high by appearing in two Cup finals, having already booked themselves a King's Cup final date with Sevilla next month.

Meanwhile, Hamburg SV, who had sacked their coach three days before the semifinal match, will take on Fulham away in their second-leg.

Chastened by a 5-1 loss at Hoffenheim on Sunday and a league run which has seen four wins in 15 matches, the Hamburg board had had enough and Bruno Labbadia was shown the door days before the club's biggest match. Hamburg and Fulham played out a goalless draw in the first leg.

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