Benitez hopes for an injury lift

03 November 2009 06:20
Rafael Benitez will assess the condition of his walking wounded before flying to France for the crunch Champions League clash with Lyon.[LNB] Steven Gerrard, Martin Kelly, Martin Skrtel and Albert Riera will definitely miss Wednesday night's Group E match - a game Liverpool have to win to maintain any hopes of reaching the last 16 - while Glen Johnson (calf), Daniel Agger (back), Fabio Aurelio (calf) and David Ngog (ankle) are doubts.[LNB] But Benitez seems set on a major gamble on Fernando Torres and £20million new boy Alberto Aquilani, who has yet to start a match for his new club, as he said: "We have to take Fernando to Lyon because we don't have too many options. We have to keep working with him and the rest of the players."[LNB] Such is Liverpool's injury plight that boss Benitez may take all four (Johnson, Agger, Aurelio and Ngog) with him for the Stade Gerland showdown, even if there is just a chance they will recover enough to be involved. Certainly Agger and Ngog are considered fit to travel.[LNB] Without Gerrard, Benitez is considering using the pair as Liverpool's main attackers against the side who won 2-1 at Anfield last month.[LNB] While Torres has a persistent groin problem, and was taken off after an hour at Fulham on Saturday, a game Liverpool eventually lost 3-1 without him.[LNB] And Benitez added: "We are trying to manage because he was close to having an operation. Still on Monday, two days after the game, he is feeling something.[LNB] "He is not comfortable. He has not got the power he had before, so we have to try to protect him.[LNB] "But he cannot play well if you keep pushing him, maybe if you push him he will be injured for a long time."[LNB] Aquilani recently picked up a virus, but he trained on Monday, with Benitez saying: "He was a bit weak, hopefully he will be better for the match."

Source: Eurosport