One in, one out for Benitez

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Football News

Rafael Benitez believes Fernando Torres will be fit to face Birmingham on Monday, but rates Steven Gerrard as doubtful for the Barclays Premier League clash at Anfield.

Both players are likely to be given until the last minute before a final decision is made on their respective groin injuries, but the Liverpool boss maintains that he does not expect either to be selected for their national squads next weekend.

Beintez said: "Gerrard was training and working with the physios on Friday. Will he be fit or just available? We don't know yet. Torres has been to Spain to see a specialist and we have discussed it all with our medical staff. He is a little better than he was before."

He added: "He will train and work with the physios. Whether he will be okay to play against Birmingham, we do not know that either, yet.

"He could play and we must be careful with him. We will look at the situation after every training session."

He added: "The experience I have had for many years with this sort of problem is to carry on and see how players react. Some players react different.

"Some can play all season with the problem, some need to stop and rest. They are all different.

"Torres is the one who can play. He has played in pain and he wants to play for the team, he has a great mentality. I believe we can carry on with him.

"I have been very surprised by the criticism of my decisions, people can see that Fernando is not fit. We have had to decide how long he can play and when he must stop."

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Premier League
Fernando Torres
Steven Gerrard

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