Liverpool wait on Gerrard fitness for Liège tie

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The Independent Online

The Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez remains hopeful that captain Steven Gerrard will shake off his thigh injury and face Standard Liège in Wednesday's Champions League qualifier. The England midfielder will travel to Belgium tomorrow ahead of the first leg of the third qualifying round match. Gerrard sustained his injury in last Tuesday's friendly against Valerenga but Liverpool are eager to have their most influential player for an important early game in their season.

Benitez said: "I was talking with him this morning and he will go with us to Belgium. He is progressing really well but we will check tomorrow after training. I will speak with the doctor and Steven and then decide."

Robbie Keane and Fernando Torres are likely to start their first competitive match together for Liverpool tomorrow. "I don't see any reason why we won't be a successful partnership," Keane said, "but the manager's got a lot of options in attack so I'm really going to have to hit the ground running."

Torres returns a European Championship winner with Spain, having scored 24 league goals in his first season in England to eclipse former Manchester United forward Ruud van Nistelrooy's record debut haul for a foreign player in England.

"He'll get better this year, which is great news for Liverpool and got to be a worry for the rest of the division."

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