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Feb 19, 2013

Enrique: Reds can overturn Zenit deficit

Liverpool defender Jose Enrique believes he and his team-mates are capable of advancing from the Europa League last 32, despite last week's 2-0 first leg defeat to Zenit St Petersburg.

The Reds crashed to a 2-0 loss in Russia to leave them with a major challenge on their hands to reach the last 16.

But Enrique feels that Brendan Rodgers' side showed enough in their 5-0 Premier League demolition of Swansea on Sunday to suggest that the first-leg deficit can be overturned at Anfield this week.

"It was important to win, that was most important, and then 5-0 of course is good for the team because the next game is the most important for the season and we have to score at least two," Enrique said.

"It was a good reaction from the team. It was a really hard game against Zenit so it is good for us to have this result because now our confidence is there for the next game, which it is really important we win.

"They [Zenit] spent a lot of money so they have good players so we have to keep a clean sheet and then to score as many as we can."

Enrique was among those on the scoresheet against Swansea, along with Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge. The latter is unavailable for this Thursday's Anfield showdown, however, with his Spanish team-mate recognising that his absence will be felt.

"Daniel Sturridge is a great player," Enrique said. "I know he can't play in the Europa League and that is a real miss for us because he already has a good understanding with Luis Suarez, and when they play together they score goals and we score goals as a team."

Even with Sturridge cup-tied though, Enrique is confident Liverpool will rise to the occasion, adding: "Playing at home, the atmosphere will be very good and the most important thing is to score early, allow the confidence to grow and then we will have a very good chance in the game.

"We have a good chance even though we lost 2-0. If we can stop them scoring and have a clean sheet that will give us a good chance because I know we can score at home."

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