Benitez upbeat over injured duo

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Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is optimistic centre backs Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel will be fit to face Tottenham on Sunday.

Carragher limped off with an ankle problem during the friendly against Atletico Madrid while Skrtel has been suffering from an hamstring injury. Benitez is hoping their fitness will continue to improve as Daniel Agger is sidelined through injury, but Steven Gerrard is doubtful.

Benitez said: "Skrtel has trained and hopefully he'll be fit. Carragher has been working with the physios and we think he'll be available. I am not sure about Steven."

Gerrard missed England's 2-2 with Holland in Amsterdam after withdrawing from the squad because of a groin problem.

"I was really pleased he was pulled out of the England squad as a precaution," added the Reds manager. "With our game on the Sunday, then maybe Steven will have a chance. If it was on Saturday it would be more difficult. As for Agger he is also working with the physios but it will be more difficult for him."

New signing Alberto Aquilani will not be involved as he recovers from an ankle injury, which Benitez knew about when he signed the midfielder from Roma. He is adamant the Italian will make an impact at the club once fit.

Benitez said: "We knew he had some problems. We think that we can improve him and keep him fit. We are 100% confident he will be okay. Since the first day he was with the physios, he was in the gym and the swimming pool, training and working really hard to be fit as soon as possible."

Aquilani believes Liverpool have already got to the root of the problem and come up with a long-term solution.

He said: "At Roma my worries were linked with injury. But when I came to Liverpool, the doctor highlighted exactly the problem I have. We now have a very good picture and I hope it will be solved so that I will not be absent again.

"It is a shame I cannot play straight away but it is important to get better, then play well. I am focusing on that."

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Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Daniel Agger
Steven Gerrard
Jamie Carragher
Martin Skrtel

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