Wednesday October 3 2012
Rodgers impressed by Di Natale

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers goes into the Europa League game with Udinese on a winning streak, but fears “talent” Antonio Di Natale.

He welcomes the Friulani to Anfield on Thursday evening and the Reds have won their last two games, so are brimming with confidence.

“The team has been improving. We haven't always picked up the results the performances have deserved. The objective now is the game tomorrow night - that is our only focus,” said Rodgers.

“We want to build momentum and a winning streak. The only way you do that is game by game, so the focus is on tomorrow night.

“I love being at Anfield. There is a real excitement and every time we've played here, we've been given incredible support.”

Liverpool are top of Group A after a chaotic 5-3 win at Swiss side Young Boys, while Udinese scraped a 1-1 home draw with Anzhi. The Italians have only managed to win one match all season against nine-man Milan.

“We've obviously prepared and analysed the opponent in detail. We understand their strengths and areas which maybe we can exploit.

“For us, I always look at our own team and how we can hurt the opponent - whilst always respecting the opponent. It will be a difficult game, but our focus will be very much on our ability to control and dominate the ball.

“They are a dangerous team and we have to close the spaces behind the ball.”

Naturally, Rodgers pinpointed captain and historic hitman Di Natale as the one to watch.

“He's a talent, for sure - look at his goalscoring record,” continued the Liverpool manager.

“He's 34 years of age but he's a wonderful talent. He's a real clever player, he's bright and he scores goals.

“He's a player we'll have to pay attention to. I'm aware he hasn't played in the last few games, but I'm sure that's now been resolved and he'll be playing. I'm sure every player wants to play at Anfield, so he will be a threat and someone we will need to control.”

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