Gerrard - We are feared

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Steven Gerrard is confident Liverpool's record in Europe over the past couple of seasons makes them a leading contender to take this year's European crown.

Twice in the past three campaigns Liverpool have reached the UEFA Champions League final, winning once against Milan 2005 before losing to the same side in 2007, but if they are to achieve an enviable hat-trick they will first have to overcome Arsenal at the quarter-final stage.

Arsenal have had a monopoly over Liverpool in recent years in terms of domestic meetings, Rafa Benitez's side have beaten their capital rivals just three times in the past seven years, but Gerrard points out that domestic duties are very different to European exertions.

Ahead of Wednesday night's mouth-watering first-leg at Emirates Stadium, Gerrard is in an exuberant frame of mind as he considers Liverpool's trip south.

Confidence high

"We are a good side in Europe and we are always confident whoever we come up against we can qualify," he said.

"I think other teams are more concerned about us because we have proved over the last two or three years we are one of the best sides in the competition.

"We have nothing to fear - just go there full of confidence and give it our best shot."

Sunday's derby day success over Everton has seen the mood in Liverpool's camp transformed from that which engulfed them after an Old Trafford humbling the previous week and Gerrard accepts that the Anfield win has got the red side of the Mersey buzzing.

And with Benitez long since established as the master of big European nights, his skipper is determined to add another to the annals of Liverpool folklore.

Reds folklore

"A big derby win and the fans are happy and the players are happy," said the England midfielder.

"It is going to be a really tough game (against Arsenal) but we are looking forward to it now and go into it full of confidence.

"Before the draw was made you are looking for a team in (continental) Europe but you get what you are given and to win this cup you have to beat the best.

"When we won it in 2005 we had to beat all the best teams so I'm sure we will have to do it again.

"If you look at our games against Chelsea (they played the Blues three successive seasons in the Champions League) they were slightly different from the league games.

"It is a cup competition and it is different from playing for three points.

"I'm sure it will be different but we know we are in for two very tough games."