Johnson responds to placenta treatment

Glen Johnson's encounter with placenta specialist Marijana Kovacevic appears to have elicited some rapid results, with the right-back, whose defensive weaknesses are "not as bad as people think" according to his manager, Rafael Benitez, ready to start for Liverpool against Manchester City tomorrow lunchtime.

Johnson was back from his Belgrade encounter with Ms Kovacevic yesterday, training with Liverpool and apparently less of a doubt for tomorrow's game having had horse placenta rubbed on his strained calf. Benitez insisted yesterday that Johnson is "one of the best in Europe, 100 per cent" and believes the focus on the defensive shortcomings in his game is because he is so valuable to England's World Cup hopes.

"I am surprised that everybody is still asking about Glen," Benitez said. "I think he is a very good player. He is keen to learn so he knows he can improve in defence but if you analyse the balance between his attack and defence then he is a very good player.

"How do we improve him? The first thing is to understand the game and the problems and then afterwards he will improve. In defence it is a question of mentality. He knows he is really good going forward and knows he can improve a little bit defensively. There are a few things we can put together. Sometimes though you need time, you can't change everything in one second so he will improve, 100 per cent."

Yossi Benayoun and Albert Riera are also in with a chance of playing tomorrow, having seen Ms Kovacevic, though Benitez has warned Alberto Aquilani that he must be patient, regarding his own first start for Liverpool. "Alberto wants to play for us and he is so desperate to be involved as quickly as he can, but he understands the reasons he can't start yet," Benitez said. Aquilani seems more likely to be on the bench tomorrow.

The Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, breathed something of a sigh of relief after learning that the damage to Robin van Persie and Kieran Gibbs during the international break was not as severe as first feared. About Van Persie's ankle injury sustained playing for the Netherlands, Wenger said: "Frankly I feared it would be more [than six weeks out] because the first news was very, very bad."

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower