31 October 2007

Peter Crouch ready to take his Liverpool chance

Oct 31 2007

HUNGRY Peter Crouch is determined to make the most of any first-team chance this evening – as Harry Kewell prepares for his long-awaited senior return for Liverpool.
Crouch is primed for only his fifth start of the season as Rafael Benitez’s entertain Coca-Cola Championship side Cardiff City in the Carling Cup fourth round.
The 26-year-old made an impressive appearance as a second-half substitute for the injured Fernando Torres in the 1-1 draw with Premier League leaders Arsenal on Sunday.
With Torres now sidelined for at least the next fortnight and both Dirk Kuyt and Andriy Voronin having started three games in eight days, Benitez is almost certain to turn to Crouch this evening.
And the England international said: “I’m looking forward to the Cardiff game and hoping to get 90 minutes under my belt.
“I was pleased to get on against Arsenal, even though it wasn’t in the circumstances I would have liked with Fernando getting injured. You always want your best players on the pitch and hopefully he won’t be out for too long.
“From my point of view I haven’t had too many chances this season and so I have to take them when they come along.
“It’s going to be a long season, we have a big squad and everybody will get games at some point. I just know that whenever I play I have to perform.
“Players are greedy and they want to play every week but it’s not possible.
“We know there could be anything up to 70 matches this season and we understand what the manager is trying to do.”
Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler will line up for Cardiff this evening, with the Welsh side expected to be backed by more than 5,000 travelling supporters.
Victory would put Liverpool through to the quarter-finals of the competition for the third time in four seasons under Benitez.
And Crouch added: “The Cardiff game is obviously one we’re expected to win but we can’t take anything for granted.
“It’ll be nice to see Robbie Fowler again because he has been fantastic for this club over the years. “It was great when he came back here and he did a magnificent job for the team. He was also a good character to have around the dressing room and I’m sure the boys are looking forward to seeing him again.”
Liverpool will this morning have a better idea of how long they will be without Xabi Alonso after the Spaniard aggravated his metatarsal injury at the weekend.
Alonso saw a specialist late yesterday afternoon and a precise timescale on his recovery will be determined today.
Benitez, though, expects Torres to have recovered from his adductor injury within a fortnight while Javier Mascherano trained yesterday.
The Argentine is nevertheless unlikely to figure tonight, with Benitez keen to give a number of fringe players an outing.

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