Benitez: Gerrard will lead Reds charge

BOSS Rafael Benitez is backing fit-again Steven Gerrard to lead Liverpool&rsquo;s Champions League charge at Anfield tonight.<br /><br />The Reds welcome back their inspirational skipper for the visit of French side Lyon, but Benitez must again do without star striker Fernando Torres, who has a groin injury.<br /><br />Like Torres, Gerrard missed Saturday&rsquo;s 1-0 defeat at Sunderland, but took part in training yesterday before declaring himself fit to lead the side against the Group E leaders. <br /><br />The Reds lost their last Champions League encounter in Fiorentina 2-0 three weeks ago, but Benitez believes the return of his skipper will help turn the team&rsquo;s fortunes around. &ldquo;Gerrard is now fine, he has trained normally today and will play against Lyon,&rdquo; he said yesterday.<br /><br />&ldquo;With Steven around, it has an effect on the other players. He is an inspiration to them. Steven is a winner with the right mentality. But we have to see these players on the pitch, they cannot win games when they are injured.<br /><br />&ldquo;The team knows we are not playing at the right level, but they also know that we are good enough. They know we must start playing again at that level, their response in training has been positive and we must repeat that on the pitch. One good result will change everything.<br /><br />&ldquo;I am confident in my team, we are trying to improve and the response of the players this week has been very good and back to our best.&rdquo;<br /><br />Lyon have won both of their group stage games so far but lost their first league game of the season on Saturday when they went down 2-0 to Sochaux.<br />Benitez is expected to hand starts to Argentine duo Javier Mascherano and Emiliano Insua after both sat on the bench at Sunderland on Saturday.<br /><br />&nbsp;Meanwhile, the referee who incorrectly awarded Darren Bent&rsquo;s infamous &ldquo;beach ball&rdquo; goal at the Stadium of Light will not officiate in the Premier League this weekend.<br /><br />Mike Jones will instead take charge of the Championship game between Peterborough and Scunthorpe.<br />