Featured Matches
Previous
AEL
Tottenham Hotspur
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
KSC Lokeren
Hull City
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Real Sociedad
Krasnodar
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Lyon
FK Astra Giurgiu
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
PSV Eindhoven
Shakhter Soligorsk
4:45 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Astana 1964
Villarreal
3:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
FK Sarajevo
Borussia Monchengladbach
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Astana 1964
Villarreal
3:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Aktobe Lento
Legia Warsaw
3:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Dinamo Moscow
Omonia Nicosia
3:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Ruch Chorzow
Metalist Kharkiv
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
HJK Helsinki
Rapid Vienna
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
FK Qarabag
Twente Enschede
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
AEL
Tottenham Hotspur
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
PSV Eindhoven
Shakhter Soligorsk
4:45 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Karabükspor
St Etienne
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Elfsborg
Rio Ave
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Dinamo Minsk
CD Nacional de Madeira
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Petrolul Ploiesti
Dinamo Zagreb
5:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
BSC Young Boys
Debrecen
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Apollon Limassol
Lokomotiv Moscow
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
FC Zorya Luhansk
Feyenoord Rotterdam
5:45 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Trabzonspor
Rostov
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Panathinaikos
FC Midtjylland
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
PEC Zwolle
Sparta Prague
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Zimbru Chisinau
PAOK Salonika
6:05 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
FC Spartak Trnava
FC Zürich
6:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
FK Partizan Belgrade
Neftchi Baku PFC
6:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Grasshoppers Zürich
Club Brugge
6:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Asteras Tripolis
Maccabi Tel-Aviv
6:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Real Sociedad
Krasnodar
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
RNK Split
Torino
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Lyon
FK Astra Giurgiu
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
KSC Lokeren
Hull City
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
FK Sarajevo
Borussia Monchengladbach
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Rijeka
Sheriff Tiraspol
7:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Sassuolo
Cittadella
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Espana
Municipal
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Belmopan Bandits
Metapan
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Inti Gas Deportes
Caracas F.C.
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Deportivo Capiatá
Danubio F.C.
8:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Barcelona
Alianza Lima
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Trujillanos
Independiente del Valle
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Millonarios
César Vallejo
12:50 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Universidad Católica
River Plate
12:50 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Corinthians
Goiás EC
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Cruzeiro
Gremio
ESPN3 11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Next
 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 24, 2006

Gerrard is unaware of his full potential - Benitez

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez believes his skipper Steven Gerrard does not fully realise how good he can become.

But Benitez now sees a growing maturity in Gerrard that will also benefit England and the much-maligned partnership with Frank Lampard.

Liverpool are preparing to face Manchester City at Anfield, intent on protecting their 13-month unbeaten home league record.

Gerrard had his best game of the season in the midweek Champions League defeat of PSV Eindhoven, and saw him net only his second goal of the campaign.

And Benitez is aware Gerrard, now back in his favoured central midfield role, feels he is close to his best.

But not in the eyes of the Spanish boss, who said: 'He can score goals, win the ball in the air, be good at set pieces, everything. When he says he is close to his best, maybe he does not know his true potential.

'He is improving a lot, he is maturing and thinking about the game. That will not only help us but also the England team. He will be able to form a better partnership with Frank Lampard because he is becoming more mature and more aware of what he should be doing.'

It is this understanding of his midfield role that Benitez sees as the key to Gerrard's long-term development.

Previously Benitez had doubts about the timing of Gerrard's surges from midfield and the dangers they cause to an exposed defence but now believes the 26-year-old is learning.

'I really think Steven is an amazing player, he is always thinking about what he can do, he has such quality that he is a player you cannot stop,' Benitez added.

'He is always thinking now about how he can improve the team, he is capable of doing that.

'He can still improve. I say to him he needs to know his team-mates and the players he has in front of him. If we play with two wingers and two strikers, he must concentrate and be careful all the time because when he goes forward into the box, that can leave gaps behind.

'His strength is getting into the box. We saw that many times last season and this week against PSV. He must do this, he is so good at it.

'But he must also think about what he does. He must concentrate and be aware all the time what is going on around him. If we do not have a holding midfield player he knows he cannot run into the box as much as he would like.

'He must be careful. I have told him he must go forward but he must also be aware of what is happening behind his runs.

'He said he was close to his best, but I do not think so. He is much better but his potential is so high he can improve much more.'

With Liverpool hit by injuries to Mark Gonzalez, Mohamed Sissoko, Xabi Alonso, Stephen Warnock and Fabio Aurelio, the onus is very much on Gerrard taking on the responsibilities of leadership.

Benitez says: 'Steven can score a lot of goals because he has that quality. He now has greater confidence, he can score all sorts of goals.

'It has been difficult for him because he hasn't been scoring and everybody all the time is talking about it. Do not forget we are talking about young men, you try to support them but the player needs to produce his best level on the pitch.

'Maybe he has been worried, but he has trained really hard, worked at the problem and I am really happy for him. Steve knows as captain he must set an example.'

Jermaine Pennant (hamstring) has a chance of playing against City, and Benitez believes the top sides should have more time to recover from midweek European games.

He says: 'I cannot understand why if you have played on the Wednesday you must then play again on the Saturday, rather than the Sunday which gives you more time to recover from injuries. In Spain this is normal.

'You must protect the top sides who are in Europe, because their success is good for the country. But they should not be penalised by having to play the next Saturday.

'You should be proud of teams like Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and ourselves in the last 16 of the Champions League. It is good for the Premier League and for England.

'Why do we not protect the top sides? It would be better for everybody.'