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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 26, 2006

Rafa set to tinker again 'to protect players'

LIVERPOOL, England, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez defended his rotation policy on Tuesday after failing to name the same team for 93 games in succession.

Benitez is expected to change his line-up once more when Liverpool play Galatasaray in the Champions League at Anfield on Wednesday.

'Sometimes you have to protect players even if they don't like it,' Benitez told reporters.

'They want to play in every game but I have to look at the bigger picture.

'You can't play 65 games a season and sometimes it is better to keep players fresh for the end of the season and games where you can win trophies.'

Liverpool have not won any of their last five Champions League games and if they do not beat Galatasaray in the Group C match they will record their worst Champions League run.

'You can talk about statistics but we have changed players since last year and the statistics will change,' Benitez said.

'We had a good draw at PSV (Eindhoven) and now we must win our home games. If we do that we will qualify.'