Gerrard rested as Liverpool eye Champions League

Updated: 2007-04-28 08:50

Liverpool are to rest key players, including Steven Gerrard, on Saturday to be fresh for next week's Champions League semi-final second leg with Chelsea.

Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and keeper Jose Reina will be left at home when the squad travel for the match at Portsmouth.

Manager Rafael Benitez told reporters on Friday: "Steven Gerrard will watch the game at home in front of his television and I will rest other players.

"The priority of my club is getting through the semi-final and reaching the final of the Champions League. If we finished third in the premiership it would be really good, but to play in the final of the Champions League would be better."

Ahead of the match with Chelsea at Anfield on Tuesday when Chelsea will carry forward their 1-0 first leg lead, Benitez has dismissed manager Jose Mourinho's attempts at mind games.

He said: "We know him. I have some friends in Portugal and it is the same in Portugal. Everyone knows him and why he says things.

"Sometimes when you have a very good team and a very good squad and some of the best players in the world, you don't need to do all these things."

Benitez entered some verbal jousting of his own by suggesting Chelsea striker Didier Drogba may not be on top of his game on Tuesday as another booking will leave him suspended for the final.

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