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Monday, 5 August, 2002, 07:58 GMT 08:58 UK
Owen fighting fit

Liverpool striker Michael Owen
Owen was rested as a precaution

Arsenal v Liverpool | Community Shield
Sun 11 August | 1400 BST
Live on Radio Five Live

Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier is confident Michael Owen will be fit for 11 August Community Shield game with Arsenal in Cardiff.

The England forward missed Sunday's 2-1 win over AC Milan in Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu Stadium but Houllier said it was only a precautionary measure.

"Michael showed he will be OK for next week.

"His training session on Saturday showed us he could do everything.

"I could have put him on the bench last night, but I thought `what's the point?"'

Owen's place was taken by Milan Baros, who scored Liverpool's second goal as well as causing Paolo Maldini problems all night.

"He is a different player from last season, he's lost a bit of weight and his fitness is good," said Houllier of the 20-year-old Czech Republic striker.

"Baros is always a threat to defenders, because he runs across them.

"He's powerful, good on his left and right feet and Maldini had all sorts of problems with him tonight."

The Frenchman indicated Baros could expect to play a much bigger role in this season's campaign.

"He could be the surprise package.

"He didn't play in the World Cup and I think his freshness is going to be an asset to us."

Liverpool's opener came via a free-kick from the England midfielder Steven Gerrard which AC Milan's Dario Simic sliced into his own net.


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