Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Torres might start on the bench against Madrid

FERNANDO TORRES is in line to return to the Liverpool fold tonight – but is likely to be on the bench.

The Spaniard has been absent since being forced off with an ankle injury during the 1-0 first leg win at Real Madrid in the Champions League first knockout round tie a fortnight ago.
After an intensive rehabilitation, Torres has come through three light training sessions without any reaction.
But with Liverpool in a strong position going into tonight’s game, Rafael Benitez is unlikely to risk the striker’s long-term fitness with crucial Premier League games against Manchester United and Aston Villa to come in the next fortnight.
“Fernando had another light training session today so we will decide tomorrow on whether they can play or not,” said Benitez yesterday. “Firstly we have to decide if Fernando is fit and then if he can start the game.
“There are two different things to consider, whether he can play 90 minutes or whether it is better to keep him on the bench.

“It won’t be just a conversation with him, it will be with him and the medical staff.”
David Ngog could retain his place up front after scoring against Sunderland last week, but the absence of a suspended Albert Riera and injured Yossi Benayoun has left Liverpool bereft of attacking options, meaning Ryan Babel is likely to step in.
Alvaro Arbeloa has also returned to light training after missing the last two games with a hamstring complaint, but has only an outside chance of appearing this evening.
Javier Mascherano will return to central midfield after his stint at right-back last week, with Jamie Carragher poised to fill the defensive breach and Sami Hyypia coming in to partner Martin Skrtel at centre-back.
Daniel Agger is definitely out with a back injury.

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