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Hicks skips Liverpool's European showdown

  • Story Highlights
  • Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks will not be present at Anfield for Arsenal clash
  • American has returned home to Dallas to see start of new baseball season
  • Hicks also owns Texas Rangers franchise and Dallas Stars ice hockey team
  • Liverpool drew 1-1 at Arsenal in first leg of Champions League quarterfinal
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(CNN) -- Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks will not be present at Anfield tonight as his club seek to reach the semifinals of the Champions League.

Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks talks with his family at Anfield at the Manchester United game on December 16.

The American has flown home to Dallas to watch the opening match of his Texas Rangers baseball team's new season, despite having seen Liverpool's 1-1 draw at Arsenal last week and the English Premier League stalemate on Saturday.

The UK Press Association reported that he had spent most of last week in London as he tries to raise funds in his ongoing battle for control of Liverpool with fellow owner George Gillett.

However, he will be represented for the second leg of the quarterfinal as his son Tom Jr. will be at the match against Arsenal.

The last time Hicks' son went to a match at Anfield, he was spat at in a bar near the stadium and chased out by angry fans following the game against Middlesbrough in February.

Hicks told the Dallas Morning News that he would still be keeping tabs on Liverpool's progress.

"Opening day in baseball is like a national holiday. I would never miss our home opener, but I will have the Liverpool game on my TV. I saw two great games over there last week," he said.

Hicks is trying to head off a buyout bid by Dubai Investment Capital, who are still seeking to take over the Merseyside club.

Hicks has refused to sell his 50 percent share to Gillett, and terminated talks with DIC on March 10 after being approached about a possible part-ownership deal.

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez said he hoped his side could stop their run of conceding goals from set-pieces against the 2006 runners-up.

Both Arsenal's goals in the last two games have come from dead-ball situations.

"We are conceding goals at set pieces, we have talked about this and we are trying to find solutions," Benitez told PA.

"It is about small details. We have conceded twice from set pieces in the previous two games. That is a small thing to some but to us it is a big problem.

"They have good players in the air, particularly Emmanuel Adebayor, and Cesc Fabregas produced great delivery from set-pieces. And we knew it was a risk, and we have conceded twice.

"But we have conceded too many crosses and set-pieces. We have analyzed and know we must stop them at source. And we also feel that we should defend with greater intensity in such situations.

"It is not about zone marking -- we need to be more aggressive in such situations. And I always try to support (goalkeeper Jose) Reina and encourage him to try to go to attack the ball in the air. He is confident and know he can do that. I have talked with him, and I feel he will be okay for this game."

In Tuesday's other quarterfinal, Chelsea will seek to become the second English club to reach the last four this season, but need to overturn a 2-1 deficit at home to Turkish team Fenerbahce.

On Wednesday, Manchester United will seek to preserve a 2-0 lead at home to Italian club Roma, while Spain's Barcelona have a 1-0 advantage against visiting German side Schalke. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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