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Page last updated at 20:42 GMT, Saturday, 5 December 2009

Fernando Torres & Alberto Aquilani to play in Europe

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez
Benitez's side face Arsenal at Anfield a week on Sunday

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez hopes Fernando Torres and Alberto Aquilani will both feature in Wednesday's Champions League game with Fiorentina.

Spain striker Torres (groin) has missed five straight matches and Italy midfielder Aquilani (ankle) has not started since a £20m move from Roma.

"Hopefully Torres will be ready this week - I don't know if he will play or be on the bench," said Benitez.

"Aquilani will maybe start the game, we are considering this."

Aquilani was an unused substitute in the goalless draw against Blackburn on Saturday, but Benitez defended his decision not to introduce him in the second half.

"I feel this was a difficult, physical place to come and not the right time to throw him on.

"He will be better getting his chance in a home match with our fans behind him. It is a difficult decision when someone is not fully match fit, he could make a mistake and it would set him back."

The absence of Torres was perhaps more keenly felt as Liverpool struggled to breach an obdurate Rovers defence.

He was the club's top scorer in each of his first two seasons at Anfield and is their leading marksman this term with 10 goals in 13 games.


"When you are creating chances it is always important to have your top striker," said Benitez, whose side are now seventh in the Premier League and have already been knocked out of the Champions League.

"He's a player who everybody knows is really good. He is important for us and would be for any top side in the world.

"Hopefully he will be ready this week and maybe we will see different things. I don't know if he will play or be on the bench and we can give him some minutes.

"It depends on his progression in the coming days."

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see also
Blackburn 0-0 Liverpool
05 Dec 09 |  Premier League
Torres to miss match in Debrecen
23 Nov 09 |  Europe
Reds keen to avoid Torres surgery
10 Nov 09 |  Liverpool
Aquilani gives Reds timely boost
21 Oct 09 |  Liverpool

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