Alonso on bench, Dudek fit for Juve clash

Liverpool fans had a boost with some more positive injury news, this time about Xabi Alonso. Injured by Frank Lampard in a tackle that left the Spaniard with a broken leg, Xabi was feared to be out for the whole season. Rafa Benitez however announced that the Spanish midfielder is fit enough for the bench tonight.

Liverpool play Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League quarter final, and Benitez said: "Xabi is in the squad. He will not be in the starting eleven but he will be in the squad because he is an important player and he is now training with the team. He is not 100 per cent fit and the idea is not to use him against Juventus because we hope to be playing well and winning. But if we are not and we need something different at the end of the game, then we may think about using him. I Hope at the end we don’t have to use him, that will be good for us – if we have to use Xabi, it will mean we’re not playing well."

In a similar way, Fernando Morientes (ineligible for tonight’s clash) was a substitute for Liverpool on Saturday against Bolton. It was whilst he was on the pitch that Liverpool pressure led to the winner from Igor Biscan.

Scott Carson was the keeper in the game on Saturday as Jerzy Dudek had returned from Poland duty with a groin injury. Benitez said that Dudek is fit to play this evening, but would not reveal any more information on his team at this stage.

Probable Liverpool team:
1 Jerzy Dudek
3 Steve Finnan 4 Sami Hyypiä  23 Jamie Carragher 21 Djimi Traore
18 Antonio Núñez 8 Steven Gerrard 25 Igor Bišcan 6 John Arne Riise
10 Luis García 
5 Milan Baroš 

Subs (from):
11 Vladimír Šmicer 13 Anthony Le Tallec 14 Xabi Alonso 20 Scott Carson 28 Stephen Warnock 31 David Raven 32 John Welsh 34 Darren Potter 37 Zak Whitbread