JOSE ENRIQUE believes a rock-solid defensive display will enable Liverpool to rescue their Europa League campaign against Zenit St Petersburg.
The Reds go into Thursday night’s clash at Anfield trailing 2-0 from last week’s first leg in Russia but the Spanish left-back is bullish about their chances of progressing to the last 16.
Enrique is convinced Liverpool have the attacking ability to overturn that deficit but says the key will be snuffing out the threat of the Russian champions at the other end.
If Zenit were to score an away goal then Brendan Rodgers’ side would face the daunting prospect of needing to find the net four times in 90 minutes.
“Zenit is our most important game of the season and we have a good chance even though we lost the first game 2-0,” Enrique said.
“The atmosphere will be really good and if we score early then our confidence will grow.
“It will be the biggest European game I’ve ever played in. We know we have to score at least two but we can do it.
“We have really good players and I think we can score a lot of goals. The problem this season has been conceding goals.
“It’s so important to keep a clean sheet against Zenit. They spent a lot of money so they have good players but we have to stop them scoring. We need to concentrate throughout.
“I think we are playing well. Even in the defeats to West Brom and Zenit, it was the same. We had many chances but we didn’t take them and our mistakes cost us two goals.
“The manager’s style of play is working and at home we’ve been doing well. We just have to try to make sure those errors don’t happen again.”
Enrique believes Sunday’s 5-0 hammering of Swansea City in the Premier League was the perfect pick me up for Rodgers’ squad ahead of the showdown with Zenit.
However, Liverpool must find a way to replicate that form without the firepower of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho, who are ineligible for Europe.
Enrique netted himself against the Swans and says the Reds must dig deep to make up for the absence of their new signings.
“Sturridge is a great player and it’s a real miss he can’t play in the Europa League because he already has a good understanding with Luis Suarez,” Enrique added.
“When they play together they score goals and we score goals as a team.
“This is the first season I have scored in the Premier League and now I have two so I hope to score a few more and help the team win games.
“It’s important everyone is chipping in with goals and I hope against Zenit we can play like we did against Swansea. They had the cup final on their minds but they still had a good team.
“For 90 minutes we were pressing and it was a good reaction from the team. Now our confidence is there for the next game.”
Another player who won’t be involved on Thursday night is Fabio Borini, who dislocated his shoulder in the victory over the Swans and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
“Fabio is a great lad and I really feel sorry for him,” Enrique said.
“Injuries like hamstrings or calves you can do something about but this type of injury you cannot.
“He has already missed three months with a broken foot. We wish the best for him and hope he can return as soon as he can.”