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Lucas hoping for Arsenal return

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Lucas Leiva says he "feels great" ahead of Liverpool's must-win clash against Arsenal on Saturday.

The Brazilian limped off with a groin injury after just 16 minutes of his side's 0-0 draw against Everton last February and has sat on the side-lines for almost a month.

The former Gremio man returned to the Reds set-up quicker than expected and was an unused substitute during his side's 3-1 loss to Manchester United, however his come back to Brendan Rodgers' squad pleased Kopites.

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Lucas appeared in last Sunday's All-Star charity match at Anfield and managed to play 90 minutes of the game in the centre-of-midfield for Jamie Carragher's XI.

With Steven Gerrard suspended for Saturday's match at the Emirates, a potential spot in Rodgers' starting line-up has arose for the 28-year-old.

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And Lucas stresses the importance of being match-fit for the game and is fully-prepared if called upon.

"I feel great," Lucas told Liverpoolfc.com.

"Leading up to the Manchester United game I had a full week of training as well, so it's been two weeks of full training. I was available for the Manchester United game, but probably wasn't able to play the whole game. Now I feel 100 per cent.

"Now it's just a question of getting some minutes and training sessions, so that's what I need and what I'm having. Leading into the Arsenal game that's going to be good because I will have had three full weeks of training and I'm looking forward to it."

"I was in a very good moment, probably the best moment in the last couple of years, and I had a good run of games.

"The beginning of the season wasn't good for me because I couldn't play much but as soon as I got back in the team I think I helped a lot.

"I don't know if Stevie's suspension will change things because the team were playing well, but I need to be ready and there are a lot of games to play and the FA Cup as well, so everyone will be needed.

"I need to be ready and if I get a chance again I need to be at the same level I was before I was injured."

Impressive Display

Last Sunday's match was an exhibition for charity played in a relaxed manner however Lucas' performance was striking.

He protected the defence for Carragher's XI making a number of high quality tackles and clearances throughout the game.

Marking Luis Suarez and Fernando Torres is a nightmare for any footballer however Lucas did this well, keeping close tags to his former team-mates and not letting them play.

Towards the latter stages of the game, you could see that the defensive-midfielder was beginning to tire, however, that was understandable as he was lacking match-ftiness.

Man On A Mission

Throughout the game, you could see that Lucas was desperately trying to impress Rodgers, who was in charge of Steven Gerrard's All-Star side.

Joe Allen took over the Reds number 21's role in the centre of the park and hasn't faired too badly in this time.

Lucas has likely been frustrated watching from the stands watching his Welsh team-mate take over his place and will want it back.

Protection

Liverpool meet an in-form Arsenal side this Saturday who have been scoring goals freely.

Oliver Giroud has had his critics in the past however he has been prolific in-front of goal in recent weeks.

Alex Sanchez snubbed Anfield for the Gunners last summer and has been Arsene Wenger's best player by a long way this campaign. The Chile international has the ability to score goals, create chances and win the ball back and has proved a very worthy purchase.

Add that to the attacking threat of Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck and Santi Corzola who have all been very good in recent weeks.

Liverpool certainly have a job to do in north London this weekend and will need all the protection possible so that the Reds back-four is not left unexposed against a pacey Arsenal team.

Lucas has displayed displayed time and time again that he can shield Simon Mignolet and co. using his experience to make tackles and blocks as well as using the ball wisley.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Liverpool
Leiva Lucas

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