Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Aquilani finally to make his first start for Liverpool

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has played down any hint of discontent from Alberto Aquilani over his lack of first-team opportunities at Anfield.

Midfielder Aquilani - a £20million signing from Roma - is poised to start for the first time in the Reds` Champions League clash with Fiorentina.

Reports from Italy suggested Aquilani was becoming frustrated at his lack of playing time, with his father claiming he has been fully recovered from his knee injury for over a month.

But Benitez refuted the allegations, and said: "Aquilani was a little surprised to hear critical comments supposedly from his father on why he was not playing here - he does not believe they are accurate.

"He understands why he has not played much yet, he has not been fit and now needs match fitness. He needs to get used to the English game and it would have been a risk to play him in such tough games as at Everton and Blackburn.

"But we are out of the Champions League, he can play against Fiorentina and get used to things better without so much pressure. We can now see how he will react."

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