Football: Liverpool's hulking defender Martin Skrtel can’t wait to face European Champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and is determined to stop Fernando Torres.
The Spanish striker, who was a hero to the Kop until his £50 million move to the Blues in January 2011, has hit seven goals so far this term.
And though El Nino has often struggled for form at Stamford Bridge, Skrtel is under no illusions regarding the threat posed by the former Red.
He said: “It’s going to be special but we have to look after him because even if he isn’t scoring goals at the moment he is still one of the best strikers in the world and still dangerous.
“We have to keep our eye on him for 90 minutes and not let him score.”
Skrtel added: “I haven’t seen Chelsea play too many times this season but from what I’ve heard his performances are better than last season.
“It’s going to be hard playing against him but I believe in my qualities and the quality of our team and I believe we won’t let him score.”
Skrtel’s manager Brendan Rodgers will welcome back a number of senior stars into his starting line-up, including former Chelsea full-back Glen Johnson.
The England defender has been battling a hamstring problem but should be fit to start, while goalkeeper Pepe Reina is closing in on full fitness, though he still remains a doubt.
The likes of captain Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Daniel Agger and Skrtel are also set to return after sitting out Thursday’s 1-0 Europa League loss against Anzhi Makhachkala in Moscow.
Rodgers’s opposite number Roberto di Matteo has led Chelsea to the Premier League summit but has seen his side falter in their last two matches against Manchester United and Swansea.
But despite their poor recent form and the club today announcing a profit of £1.4 million for last year — the first time the club has finished in the black in the Roman Abramovich era — di Matteo focused on John Terry in yesterday’s press conference.
The Italian insisted Terry was still Chelsea’s “captain and leader” but warned that did not make the defender immune from his squad rotation policy.
He said: “He’s certainly a fantastic player for us and he will continue to be so and continue to be our captain and our leader when he plays.”
However, it is precisely how often that is which is now far from a certainty.
“I don’t think anybody’s guaranteed a starting place,” Di Matteo said.
“They all have to work and be fighting for their place in the team.”
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