Friday, October 16, 2009

Steven Gerrard & Fernando Torres Miss Liverpool Training

Liverpool have confirmed that Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres were withdrawn from training today after picking up injuries whilst on international duty this week.

Torres suffered a minor adductor problem whilst with Spain that limited him to the substitutes' bench for his country's game with Bosnia.

Gerrard missed England's victory over Belarus at Wembley with a groin strain. Both players are to be further assessed by the Reds' medical team.

Greek defender Sotiris Kyrgiakos will also face further assessment of his knee injury, though sources earlier revealed that the damage to his anterior cruciate ligament was much less severe than initially feared.

"Sotiris Kyrgiakos will be examined by our medical staff when he returns to Liverpool later this evening," a statement on the club's official website read.

"Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres will not train with the rest of the squad today, but will continue to receive treatment and will be assessed again tomorrow."

Saudi Prince Admits Interest

Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Bin Abdullah has confirmed that he would be interested in investing his money in a football club.

The Saudi billionaire is reportedly set to invest his considerable funds in Liverpool after being caught pictured sitting with co-owner George Gillett at the 6-1 win over Hull at Anfield last month.

Gillett is currently in Saudi Arabia as a guest of the Prince with both parties looking to strike up a partnership with the Reds particularly keen on setting up a number of youth academies in the Middle East.

Prince Faisal, chairman of sports investment company F6, refused to specify which club he would be looking to invest in before insisting that the visit of Gillett was purely down to friendship.

"As an investment group definitely we have an eye for many opportunities, let's put it this way," he told Sky Sports News.

"In Europe and Asia and North America and South America how can we be an added value and where can we invest our money and how we can manage and that is all I can say about investing in football clubs.

"This is a purely personal friend to a friend who happens to be a co-owner at Liverpool.

"Definitely we look forward to any kind of venture between any clubs in Saudi Arabia and Liverpool and transfer of knowledge, experience and implementation of Liverpool academy and philosophy to Saudi Arabia and to the sports industry of Saudi Arabia.

"This is the main thing and this is what we are discussing."

Meanwhile Gillett was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the youth facilities in the country.

"The infrastructure generally I have seen is absolutely amazing the King's commitments to this country and the youth is amazing," he stated.

"The physical facilities that are here, these are as nice as I have seen anywhere around the world. They have got outstanding management.

"I was very pleasantly surprised, there are some wonderful opportunities for us to work together.

"We have a great appreciation for the respect and the government of Saudi Arabia has for the youth of this country and they're committed to both facilities and programmes to bring more and more youth to a higher level in all sports but particularly in football.

"We are pleased to be involved. To help we would be privileged."

Liverpool Expect Steven Gerrard To Be Fit For Sunderland Trip

Liverpool remain confident Steven Gerrard will be fit for their trip to Sunderland this weekend, despite fears he may have sustained a slight tear in his adductor muscle.

Gerrard, who was substituted at half time in England's defeat in Ukraine on Saturday, returned to Merseyside for a precautionary scan after managing only 10 minutes of training with Fabio Capello's squad on Tuesday.

Despite initial suggestions the injury was worse than first feared, it is believed he is likely to be ready to travel with the rest of Liverpool's squad to the Stadium of Light.

Liverpool are thought to be unhappy that Gerrard was not released from international duty after failing to complete the defeat in Dnipropetrovsk - Wayne Rooney, who finished the game, returned to Manchester United with a calf injury on the squad's return to England - and Rafael Benítez is likely to be unimpressed that he was risked in a training session just two days later.

England insist the decision to remain with his international team-mates was Gerrard's alone.

Benítez is already sweating over the fitness of Fernando Torres, another player who has picked up an adductor problem on international duty, and Dirk Kuyt, who limped out of Holland's friendly with Australia after an ankle injury flared up.

Aurelio Eyes New Deal

Liverpool full-back Fabio Aurelio is keen to start talks on a new contract at Anfield.

The 30-year-old Brazilian, who signed for the Reds on a free transfer from Valencia in 2006, has a current deal that is due to expire next summer, but he wants to extend his stay on Merseyside.

Aurelio has made 92 appearances for Liverpool since his move three years ago, and is hoping he can finally get a run of first-team starts together after a series of injuries have hampered his progress in recent seasons.

"We had started talking before the end of last season but then I picked up the injury in the summer and since then there has not been any more contact," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"I just want to play at the minute before I think about anything else and we will see how everything goes from there.

"Every season I have felt more and more comfortable here and I have many good team-mates - this feels as if it is my home.

"I feel very comfortable and my family is very settled here but I know that it all depends on what the manager and the club thinks about me.

"I enjoy the city and the life that I have here and that is why it has felt like the time that I have been here has gone so fast.

"I'm really enjoying it; when you are settled and you are comfortable, that is all you want and that is why I would like to stay here if I can."

Liverpool will be looking to kick-start their Premier League campaign when they travel to the Stadium of Light on Saturday to face in-form Sunderland.

Fresh Liverpool FC Injury Blow As Sotirios Kyrgiakos Damages Knee Playing For Greece

Sotirios Kyrgiakos is bracing himself for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after he suffered a serious injury on international duty.

Kyrgiakos - who joined the Reds from AEK Athens in August - was forced off before half-time during his country’s 2-1 win over Luxembourg last night.

It has since been claimed in Greece that Kyrgiakos has ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament and the 30-year-old will spend at least four months on the sidelines.

That, though, is likely to be a conservative estimate if the damage is as bad as feared, as cruciate problems invariably mean that a player will be out for a minimum of six months.

Liverpool were today waiting for a further update but the early signs are that they will be without Kyrgiakos for the foreseeable future.

It will come as blow to Rafa Benitez, who drafted in the uncompromising Kyrgiakos to fill the void left by Sami Hyppia’s move to Bayer Leverkusen.

He has only made one start for Liverpool in the Premier League so far - that came in the 3-2 win over Bolton on August 29 - and also played in the 1-0 Carling Cup win at Leeds. His absence now means that Benitez is short of experienced cover at the back for first choice pair Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel.

Daniel Agger has yet to play for the Reds this season after coming back from injury but he has at least come through two games for Denmark in the past week.

Rookie Spanish defender Daniel Ayala, who made a promising full debut in a 4-0 win over Stoke City at the beginning of the campaign, will now be on standby should the Reds suffer any injury or suspension.

Dossena: Why Aquilani Will Be Prem Star

Andrea Dossena is confident Alberto Aquilani's 'quality and intelligence' will ensure he has no difficulty acclimatising to the rigours of the Barclays Premier League.

The Italian midfielder began light training at Melwood recently as he continues his rehabilitation from an ankle injury.

With his Liverpool debut now firmly on the horizon, Dossena is adamant his compatriot has all the necessary features to his game to succeed in England.

"He has the quality to adapt because he is very clever," Dossena told

"He understands the football here and knows how to make the right decision on the ball quickly.

"When you're in a match in England, you don't have a lot of time on the ball. You have to think before the ball comes to you.

"In Italy you have a few seconds to think and look up, but here you only have a second and then have to play the ball because you'll have two or three opponents closing you down.

"But Alberto is very excited about playing for Liverpool and he wants to experience a new kind of football.

"He is a great player. I can't wait to see him in the Premier League."

Like manager Rafa Benitez, Dossena points to Aquilani's versatility as one of the former Roma star's key attributes, and believes the 25-year-old's acquisition will provide Liverpool with many different options.

"He will be an important player for us," he said. "With Alberto, we can do something different with our formation.

"He can play in the middle or between the lines alongside Stevie, and they can create something different for Liverpool."

He added: "I am happy we have signed him because he is a good lad, a great player and I am sure he will have a lot of success at the club."

Meanwhile, Dossena spoke of his determination to work hard in training and force his way back into the Liverpool first-team reckoning.

Injuries coupled with the excellent form of Emiliano Insua have meant the full-back has been restricted to just one senior run out so far this term, which came in the recent Carling Cup tie with Leeds United.

"I want to play, but what is important for me is to work hard every day and be ready for when the boss calls on me," he said.

"It's difficult, but I am a professional. I am a football player and sometimes you have to sit on the bench. That is part of my job.

"I want to work hard and keep a good mentality, which is important for all players, even those that play every game. You have to work hard and be ready.

"When you play for a big team, there is always competition for places and working hard is the only way I can improve and try to change the decision of the boss."

The 28-year-old was the subject of much transfer speculation over the course of the summer, but he insists his focus is on attempting to play a part in Liverpool's quest for silverware rather than seeking pastures new .

"I have never said that I want to leave," he stated. "I want to play, like every single other player, but I like it here and I like playing for Liverpool Football Club.

"The life here is perfect for me, the football is fantastic and I want to win something with Liverpool."

Liverpool Eye Brazil Starlet Nilton

Liverpool are poised for a January move for Vasco da Gama starlet Nilton.

Vasco, who once beat Manchester United en route to the final of the Club World Cup in 2000, have fallen on hard times since.

They currently play their trade in the Brazilian Second Division and are struggling to keep hold of midfield ace Nilton.

The 22-year-old scored a stunning overhead volley in Vasco’s 4-1 victory over Vila Nova and Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has taken note.

The Brazil Under-20 capped Nilton, whose contract expires in January, could now move this winter, with Benitez leading the chase to sign him.