Liverpool are looking to have Pepe Reina back in their squad tonight as the Reds take on Norwegian side Valerenga in Oslo, despite the fact the keeper hasn't featured in any of the club's pre-season matches so far after undergoing a double hernia operation.
But Reina told reporters over the weekend that he is confident he will make a full recovery and be match-fit for the opening match of the season. "The target is to play in Valerenga, and then after Valencia there is one more week and that should be good enough to get that fitness," Reina said.
"Just because of precaution, we didn't want to rush it - there was no point in doing that. I'm totally recovered now, training with the team as normal and looking forward. I can't wait to play again.
"It wasn't that nice because my holidays were in the same time as my operation. But after three years without having a proper holiday, I did rest a little bit more this season."
Liverpool's pre-season friendlies haven't been kind to the club so far this summer, with defeats to both Hull City and Galatasaray. But boss Kenny Dalglish believes that the side will be much closer to full-strength tonight, with the Liverpool manager insisting that Reina will be part of the side's plans in some capacity.
"Pepe will come with us to Norway and play some part, Glen Johnson should be ready for a game, we think Daniel Agger will be back as well and we will also have Charlie [Adam], Jordan [Henderson] and Stewart [Downing] to play," Dalglish said.
Downing, Henderson and Adam, Dalglish's star signings for the summer, didn't feature in Liverpool's loss in Turkey, and Dalglish will no doubt be looking at different formations for his new trio in the squad tonight, as the Reds prepare to take on Sunderland in their opening match on August 13.
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