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José: New Liverpool a more flexible foe

José Mourinho learnt everything there is to know about the way Liverpool play during ten meetings in just two seasons. But he believes summer transfers will allow Sunday’s opponents a more varied approach in the season ahead.

Over the close season Liverpool have added Brazilian left-back Fabio Aurelio, Argentine defender Gabriel Paletta and Chilean midfielder Mark Gonzalez, plus from the British Isles, Craig Bellamy and Jermaine Pennant. It’s the signing of Bellamy in particular that will allow them to set new challenges Mourinho believes.

“One thing is to play Peter Crouch as target man, another thing is to play Craig Bellamy in a lone position up front,” he says. “It is a completely different way to play.

“Now they have these two players, they have different styles of play. Every team that plays against Liverpool has to understand what it is to play them with Crouch and what it is to play them with Bellamy. So they have solutions.

“Bellamy was dangerous when we played against him for Newcastle; he was dangerous when we played against him for Blackburn. He will be dangerous playing for Liverpool.”

Reports suggest that Liverpool will be without another striker, Robbie Fowler, on Sunday due to a knee injury. New arrival Aurelio is also out with a calf problem.

Liverpool’s team against Maccabi Haifa on Wednesday was:

Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Riise, Gerrard (Gonzalez 85), Sissoko, Alonso, Zenden (Luis Garcia 55), Pennant, Bellamy (Crouch 65).

One Chelsea defender unavailable to deal with which ever attack Rafael Benitez chooses is William Gallas. Mourinho has given a positive report on the player since he rejoined the first team squad for training on Monday.

“For me the important thing is the way he is working and behaving now,” insists the manager. “And he is behaving very, very good.

“He trained very well when he was with the reserves. He is training well with us. He is doing some work with the team, he is doing some work individually with Makelele and the fitness coach and he is behaving very, very professionally.

“For me today and tomorrow is more important than yesterday.”

Sale of Chelsea’s allocation of tickets for Sunday’s game closes at 2pm on Sunday. Seats are on general sale. For full information, visit The Website

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