Featured Matches
Previous
Internazionale
Manchester United
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Madrid
AS Roma
1:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Recreativo Huelva
Sunderland
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sparta Prague
Malmo FF
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Sparta Prague
Malmo FF
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Slovan Bratislava
Sheriff Tiraspol
6:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Debrecen
BATE Borisov
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Wealdstone
Wycombe Wanderers
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Frickley Athletic
Scunthorpe XI
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Exeter City
Swansea City
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Alfreton Town
Rotherham United
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Burton Albion
Derby County
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Lincoln City
Mansfield Town
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Newport County
Coventry City
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Notts County
Birmingham City
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Portsmouth
AFC Bournemouth
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Stevenage
Reading
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Altrincham
Accrington Stanley
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cambridge United
Milton Keynes Dons
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cheltenham Town
Bristol City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Concord Rangers
Dagenham & Redbridge
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Dumbarton
Carlisle United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Hyde
Burnley XI
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Kidderminster Harriers
Shrewsbury Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Leyton Orient
Queens Park Rangers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Luton Town
Colchester United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Margate
Barnet
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Oxford United
Wolverhampton Wanderers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Preston North End
Burnley
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Sheffield United
Huddersfield Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Southend United
Ipswich Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Recreativo Huelva
Sunderland
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Valerenga
Stabaek
3
2
FT
Game Details
Defensor Sporting
Nacional
12:15 AM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
Guadalajara
Coras Tepic
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Irapuato
Queretaro
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Lobos BUAP
Chiapas
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Mineros de Zacatecas
U. de G.
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Correcaminos
Monterrey
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Tijuana
Zacatepec
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
U.A.N.L
Altamira
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Náutico
Icasa
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Portuguesa de Desportos
Oeste
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Internazionale
Manchester United
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Madrid
AS Roma
1:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Cienciano del Cusco
Alianza Lima
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Next
 Posted by ESPN Staff
Dec 30, 2007

Rafa ready for plunge into transfer market

Rafael Benitez is ready to plunge into the January transfer market in an attempt to solve Liverpool's central-defensive crisis.

With Sami Hyypia sidelined by an ankle injury and Daniel Agger still to recover from a broken foot, Benitez was forced to pick Alvaro Arbeloa alongside Jamie Carragher for today's 0-0 draw with Manchester City at Eastlands.

Although a clean sheet suggests the decision worked, Benitez knows the situation is unsustainable over the long term and with youngster Jack Hobbs likely to be restricted to games such as next weekend's FA Cup tie at Luton, the Merseyside giants need reinforcements.

Benitez has been heavily linked with Fiorentina's Czech Republic international Tomas Ujfalusi, as well as AC Milan's Kakha Kaladze and Racing Santander's £8million-rated Ezequiel Garay.

The Liverpool boss is understandably not naming names. But, despite reports owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett would be offering a very restricted budget, Benitez is getting ready to spend.

'We are working to try to find some solutions and we are close to getting some players,' said Benitez.

'Until they actually put pen to paper we will keep working with the players we have but we are confident we can get the right players at the right price and that would be good for us.'

On the evidence of Sunday afternoon's contest, Benitez could do worse than try to prize Richard Dunne away from City.

The Blues skipper turned in an awesome display, not only subduing the considerable threat of Fernando Torres in a way few have managed this season.

Dunne also managed to hack off the line when Joe Hart saved Dirk Kuyt's late effort before sliding in to block Yossi Benayoun's goal-bound strike, the last chance Liverpool had to make their dominance tell.

'I don't know if it was Richard's best performance for Manchester City but it was an extremely good one,' said City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

'He is a good player and our captain and he showed the way forward.'

With Micah Richards providing able assistance to his central defensive partner, Dunne marshalled City towards a point which keeps them just one adrift of Liverpool in the battle for fourth, while leaving the Merseysiders 10 behind new leaders Arsenal.

Unlike former team-mate Joey Barton, who lurches from one crisis to another, Dunne has learned from the mistakes he made under former manager Kevin Keegan and, according to Eriksson, is now a model professional.

'He is a very important member of our dressing room,' said the former England manager.

'He has been here for a long time and it is good to have someone like that around the club.

'Not only is he a good footballer, he is a very sensible person, which is what you require from a captain.'

Having lost their 100% home record to Blackburn on Thursday, City never looked like making an immediate return to winning ways.

Yet, while they failed to muster a single chance of note, Eriksson feels the Blues still have an outside opportunity of landing a top-four spot, which would almost certainly be at Liverpool's expense.

'We will not be the favourites, but we will fight,' he said.

Benitez, while disappointed at his side's failure to take advantage of Manchester United's surprise loss at West Ham, conceded City are becoming a formidable unit under Eriksson.

'Manchester City are getting very close to a top-four team,' he said.

'I was talking with Dietmar Hamann beforehand and he told me they have some good players, as you could see. You cannot win nine games in a row at home without having good players.

'They should be really close but the question in this league is whether you can keep your team playing well for a long time. The season lasts nine months and it is hard work.'

Meanwhile, Eriksson has confirmed his own new arrival, Mexico forward Nery Castillo, will not be available for Wednesday's trip to Newcastle.

Castillo has signed a 12-month loan from Shakhtar Donetsk but Premier League registration rules mean he cannot feature until next weekend's FA Cup tie at West Ham.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.