Liverpool Vs Arsenal, Sun 13 Dec 2009

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Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez will bring back his big guns for the visit of Arsenal to Anfield for Sunday's crunch Barclays Premier League clash.

Jamie Carragher, Glen Johnson and Jose Reina were all rested for the Champions League defeat by Fiorentina on Wednesday but are expected to face the Gunners.

Benitez must decide whether Alberto Aquilani is ready for a Premier League starting role, despite facing his fellow Italians in midweek.

Fernando Torres is likely to lead the attack for the first time since the draw in Lyon on November 4. Lucas Leiva and Fabio Aurelio are also likely to return.

Ahead of the game, Torres has admitted Liverpool are now Premier League also-rans, even if his manager Benitez still thinks differently.

The Anfield chief maintains his struggling outfit will finish in the top four, and looks to the new axis of Torres, Steven Gerrard and Aquilani to at least give Liverpool a better second half of the season than their first was.

However, his star striker admits he is `changing his targets' for the rest of the season.

Against Arsenal on Sunday, Torres will almost certainly make his first start for Liverpool since early November after a prolonged groin injury.

And the Spain striker believes he has to prove himself after an injury-hit campaign.

"I am looking forward, and trying not to have any more injuries," he said. "I want to be 100% fit now for all of the season, and of course the World Cup finals. We are out of the Champions League, we are really far away from the top of the Premier League, so we have to change our targets."


Arsenal will have England forward Theo Walcott available after he came through the midweek Champions League game in Athens.

Midfielder Abou Diaby could also be available again following a groin problem and Alex Song returns from suspension. However, Emmanuel Eboue and Tomas Rosicky (both hamstring) miss out.

Strikers Nicklas Bendtner (groin) and Robin van Persie (ankle) remain sidelined, along with full-back Gael Clichy (back) and Johan Djourou (knee).

Manager Arsene Wenger has challenged his Arsenal team to prove they have enough attacking talent to cope without a recognised target man.

The Gunners head to Liverpool without Robin van Persie and Nicklas Bendtner and could deploy Andrey Arshavin - who netted all four goals in last season's dramatic draw at Anfield - in a central striking role.

While much has been made of the manner of Arsenal's 3-0 home defeat to Chelsea a fortnight ago, Wenger maintains there is no need for his team to have a dedicated target man in the mould of Didier Drogba.

"Since I have been in football, you have always been missing something," Wenger said.

"The real question is can we win as we are now, and I say yes. That is what we want to focus on. Yes, we have some taller players out, but that does not stop anybody from winning."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Emmanuel Eboue
Robin Van Persie
Andrey Arshavin
Didier Drogba
Jose Reina
Johan Djourou
Glen Johnson
Premier League
Fernando Torres
Fabio Aurelio
Steven Gerrard
Gael Clichy
Tomas Rosicky
Jamie Carragher
Vassiriki Abou Diaby
Nicklas Bendtner
Theo Walcott

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