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Nic Ladds 26th Nov 2008 - 13:58

Liverpool are Babbel-ing hot

There is no denying Liverpool are in excellent form coming into this game and it will take a spirited performance from Marseille to stop Torres and co coming away with three points.

Rafa Benitez has never been one to worry about entertaining the masses and he will be even less concerned tonight seeing as a point should be enough to see Liverpool through.

Barring a shock away victory for PSV Eindhoven over Atletico Madrid, Liverpool only need to hold Marseille to a draw at Anfield to ensure qualification for the knock out stages.

Rafa has no qualms about playing effective but dull tactics in order to grind out the result they need and the draw can be backed at 16/5. For those thinking Rafa will really put a halt on entertainment no goal scorer can be backed at 7/1.

A boost for Liverpool and spectators everywhere is the likelihood of Gerrard and Torres both starting for the Reds. When both have been playing they have produced over 50 goals between them which makes the chances of goals a lot more likely.

Torres is 3/1 to net first with Gerrard at 11/2 while they are available at 5/6 and 2/1 respectively to score anytime. With the record these two players have together goals could certainly be in the offing no matter what tactics Benitez deploys.

Liverpool are warm favourites at 2/5 with Marseille 8/1 outsiders. For those that fancy Marseille to recapture the form that took them to victory at Anfield last season the 8/1 may well appeal with a repeat of the 1-0 score line a tasty 11/1.

Marseille have an excellent away record coming into this fixture as they are undefeated in the French league away from home in 15 matches and have also been solid away in Europe. They have nothing to lose and the only result that can benefit them is victory so they will really go at it and test Liverpool's resilience.

Hatem Ben Arfa is likely to carry the biggest attacking threat for Marseille as he has been on the score sheet on 4 occasions in this season's Champions League. Ben Arfa is 9/1 to score first and keep Marseille's dreams of qualifying alive.

Boudewijn Zenden will be a familiar face in the Marseille line up having previously played for Liverpool. The Dutchman scored in his last match and is 20/1 to be the first this time and 8/1 to punish Liverpool at any point during the match.

Despite Marseille's solid looking away record Liverpool should have too much for them and confirm their place in the knock out stages with a victory.

Liverpool's classy defence will be able to cope with the French team's attacks and with Torres and Gerrard back and Robbie Keane beginning to fire, Liverpool should have little trouble finding the net.

Explosive Dutch winger Ryan Babel should get a run out at some point during the second half and the pacey wide man will waste no time in making his presence felt. At 13/2 he looks good value for last goal scorer on what can be a successful night for Liverpool.

Liverpool to win 3-0 - 8/1

Babel to score the last goal - 13/2


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