Liverpool coach Rafa Benitez watched Fernando Torres smash a second-half hat-trick in the 4-2 win at Reading and then refused to guarantee the £24 million record buy a place in the starting line-up against Wigan this weekend.

Torres, omitted from the starting line-up for the Reds´ last two Barclays Premier League games against Portsmouth and Birmingham, hit goals in the 49th, 70th and 86 minutes to earn the side a place in the fourth round of the Carling Cup.

But despite his hat-trick heroics, Torres could still find himself on the bench at the JJB Stadium, with Benitez saying: "Will he start the next game? We will see. I cannot guarantee anything because I like to see my strikers during the week. We have four strikers and if I say now that he will play, it will be easy for Wigan."

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