Benitez warns defender to be on Drogba watch

30 April 2008
Rafa Benitez has warned his central defenders to be on their guard when they face pantomime villain Didier Drogba on Wednesday.Liveprool's Spanish manager has been clear about his disregard for what he perceives to be the Ivorian striker's propensity to dive and feign injury.Benitez has compiled a video dossier of Drogba, who is one goal away from becoming Chelsea's joint top goalscorer in European competition, and believes referee Ricardo Rosetti must take a firm stance on any malpractice.

He said: "I think it is clear from watching a lot of games that everybody has the same conclusion about Drogba. He is a fantastic player but he falls down too easily.

"The centre backs always do a good job against him and hopefully they will do the same again.

"I think Carra has the experience to handle him, but maybe he will not play in front of Drogba, but he won't change his game just because he has a yellow card."

Benitez remains confident that his side will prevail and that after uncharacteristically missing several chances in the first leg, he is tipping Fernando Torres to rediscover his form in front of goal and send Liverpool to a third final in four years.

He said: "Fernando has good mentality he can manage pressure.He is a great player who can change a game. Petr Cech is a good goalkeeper though and in these games the difference comes when top class players come face- to-face.

"Last week it was Cech, tomorrow hopefully it will be Torres.But we have lots of players who can score goals. We have Gerrard, Babel Kuyt, Alonso and defenders who can score from set pieces. Hopefully one goal will be enough tomorrow."