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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 May 2007, 09:56 GMT 10:56 UK
Molby wants Crouch & Kuyt pairing
By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer

Peter Crouch and Dirk Kuyt
I expect Crouch to partner Kuyt
Jan Molby
Former Liverpool star Jan Molby is backing Peter Crouch to start with Dirk Kuyt in attack against AC Milan on Wednesday instead of Craig Bellamy.

"It is a one-off final and you know what Crouch will give you," said Molby ahead of the Champions League showdown.

"Bellamy is fast but he's inconsistent - you are not sure what you will get.

"With Crouch, Liverpool know they have an outlet if they are in trouble. They can play the ball up to him and he will hold it, which will be very important."

Liverpool meet the Italian giants in Athens in a repeat of the 2005 Champions League final that the English side won on penalties after trailing 3-0 at half-time.

606: DEBATE
JP

"[Liverpool manager Rafael] Benitez knows the percentages and the fact that small details can win or lose these games - I expect Crouch to partner Kuyt," Molby told BBC Sport.

The Danish midfield maestro, who had managerial stints at Hull, Kidderminster and Swansea, also urged his former team to get to grips with AC Milan midfielder Kaka early on.

The Brazilian superstar poses the biggest threat to Liverpool's ambitions after helping to destroy Manchester United in the semi-finals.

Molby said: "Kaka must be strangled by Liverpool's organisation.

"He is the key because, while Milan have good passing players, he is the one with the power to fly past you.

"Milan have players like Clarence Seedorf and Andrea Pirlo, who can pass, but Kaka is different because he is a big, strong boy with fantastic ability.

Liverpool simply must not make the same mistakes as Man Utd

Former Liverpool midfielder Jan Molby
"If Liverpool can deal with him by the way Benitez organises his side, then their chances of winning will increase right away."

Molby believes the match is too close to call but thinks Liverpool will adopt a different mentality to that which they displayed in their victory over Milan in Istanbul two years ago.

"Liverpool almost went into that game thinking they were going to be beaten," he said.

"It is not the same now because Liverpool have proved in that time, particularly in beating Barcelona and Chelsea this season, that they can compete with anyone in Europe.

"This is more a toss of coin if you like. From Liverpool's point of view, it is all about them stopping AC Milan dictating the game.

"Against Manchester United, Milan played a British-style high-tempo game, pressuring United all over the field.

"If they do that against Liverpool, Benitez and his players will have to make very sure they don't make the same mistakes in their own half that United did - it was fatal for them and it would be fatal for Liverpool."



SEE ALSO
AC Milan v Liverpool
21 May 07 |  Europe
Gerrard vows Reds will be heroes
23 May 07 |  Liverpool
Mihir Bose blog
23 May 07 |  Europe
Champions League photos
23 May 07 |  Football
Kaka issues warning over Crouch
21 May 07 |  Europe
Boban expects no repeat of 2005
22 May 07 |  Europe
Liverpool's famous five triumphs
22 May 07 |  Liverpool
Liverpool pen pics
22 May 07 |  Liverpool
AC Milan pen pics
22 May 07 |  Europe
Alan Hansen's column
21 May 07 |  Premiership
Road to Athens photos
22 May 07 |  Football
Benitez to revamp Liverpool squad
22 May 07 |  Liverpool
Tim Vickery column
21 May 07 |  Football
Euro rivals fear Reds - Gerrard
03 May 07 |  Europe


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