Liverpool's left-back John Arne Riise is a certainty to
start in tonight's Champions League final in Athens, although where he'll be
used remains to be seen. If manager Rafa Benítez is confident that either Bolo
Zenden or even Harry Kewell are fit enough to start on the left wing then Riise
will be playing at full-back. If not then Rafa is likely to use Alvaro Arbeloa
at full back on allow Riise to play a more advanced role.
Riise was asked in the press conference whether Liverpool
thought they could win it. Liverpool aren't just in Athens to make up the
numbers, they are confident they have a good chance of victory: "We have always
believed we could win it again. Those two performances against Barcelona just
underlined how we all felt, that we were good enough to get to the final again."
Riise says Liverpool have improved since the 2005 final when
they beat AC Milan on penalties in what is regarded by just about everyone as
the best Champions League final of all time. "Two years ago we didn't know what
to expect, but we do now, and this time we are a better team than in Istanbul,
and we will take all the experience we gained in that final into this one."
Milan players and fans were stunned two years ago. They did
not expect to lose a game that they were winning by three clear goals at
half-time: "They want revenge, we keep hearing that. But we will just
concentrate on ourselves, we know we are confident and we can win it again,
Milan know we can beat them, and we know what we have to do and what to expect
now from Milan."
Riise is pleased with the preparations in the build-up to
the big match: "We trained yesterday and it was quite warm, but we went away to
get used to the humidity. We have done everything right and we are well
prepared. We have confidence for the final."