Wolverhampton Wanderers Vs Liverpool, Tue 26 Jan 2010

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Wolves boss Mick McCarthy has included new signing Adlene Guedioura in his squad to face Liverpool at Molineux.

The French midfielder has signed on loan from Charleroi for the remainder of the season with a view to the deal becoming permanent in the summer.

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His club team-mate Geoffrey Mujangi Bia, who impressed as a substitute against Crystal Palace on Saturday, is also poised to feature against the Reds.

Wolves defender Richard Stearman will return after missing the 2-2 draw with Neil Warnock's side while serving a one-game suspension.

Record signing Kevin Doyle and keeper Marcus Hahnemann are among those players set to return after being rested for the cup tie as Wolves look to avenge a 2-0 defeat at Anfield during Christmas.

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy believes it would be "barmy" to write off Liverpool's top-four chances despite their injury problems.

The Reds, who visit Molineux on Tuesday, have improved their chances of securing a Champions League place for next season by taking 10 points from their last four games.

McCarthy was impressed with the way they moved back into contention via their home victory over Tottenham last week.

And, although he believes Rafael Benitez's side are not quite the same threat without Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres, who have both missed chunks of the season, McCarthy still feels they have plenty of quality in depth.

He said: "When Liverpool have no Gerrard and Torres they play exactly the same way but not quite as well as if Gerrard and Torres were playing.

"But I watched them against Spurs last week and they performed very well. It was a good professional performance.

"The team they put out that night was very solid and Dirk Kuyt, who got their two goals, was outstanding.

"To suggest that when Gerrard and Torres don't play means they are any less than a top-four team would be barmy.

"Let's not underestimate them just because they are missing those players."

Liverpool captain Gerrard is in contention for the trip after returning ahead of schedule from injury.

The England international was expected to be sidelined for at least a fortnight after sustaining a hamstring problem in the FA Cup exit to Reading on January 13.

However, he returned to action at the club's Melwood training ground over the weekend and could play at Molineux.

"He was training on Saturday and then a full training session on Sunday, and today (Monday) was the same," said manager Rafael Benitez.

"Normally he's someone who, if available, can play. We'll decide on Tuesday but I think he can be available."

Ahead of the game, Benitez has played down claims by Sunderland counterpart Steve Bruce that the club have been "disrespectful" in their attempts to sign Black Cats striker Kenwyne Jones.

Bruce said last week that the Reds had tried to unsettle the Trinidad and Tobago international, whom Benitez is believed to want to sign on loan to cover for a six-week lay-off to striker Fernando Torres.

Benitez on Monday insisted he had not been involved at all in any negotiations and was concentrating on football matters.

"I was not dealing with this," said the Liverpool boss. "(Managing director) Christian Purslow has been talking with (Sunderland chairman) Niall Quinn so they have to manage the situation because I was not doing anything.

"I prefer not to talk too much because we will create a debate so Christian and Niall will continue to talk if they need to talk. They were in contact but I don't know what the situation is now."

On Friday, Bruce said: "I find it hugely disrespectful, the antics of Liverpool and this constant badgering of Kenwyne Jones, when we as a club haven't heard anything. I don't know whether they are serious or whether Rafa is playing games with his board. It might be power games at Liverpool."

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