Benitez confident trio will be fit

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is hoping to have Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso fit for the vital Barclays Premier League summit meeting with Chelsea on Sunday.

The Reds hope the trio will be able to make the trip to Stamford Bridge after picking up injuries during the 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday.

All three players were substituted during the second half of the game and will be assessed by the Reds’ medical team at Melwood over the next couple of days.

“The three players had some problems,” said Benitez.

“Keane and Gerrard and Alonso were tired, so we were trying to use players with fresh legs. We were trying to protect all of them by substituting them.

“I don’t think they are serious. We will have to wait and see tomorrow.

“It was a little bit of a muscle problem for Robbie. Gerrard is okay. He was really tired and Alonso has a knock on his knee.

“We need to check with Keane. He will see the doctor.”

Chelsea and Liverpool are separated only by goal difference at the top of the Premier League and the two clubs are already six points clear of Manchester United, although the Red Devils have a game in hand.

The Blues have not lost a league match at home in 86 fixtures.

However, former Reds boss Roy Evans, who managed Liverpool from 1994 to 1998 and is now an assistant to John Toshack with Wales, believes his old club can be the ones to end that run this weekend, even if he feels they are not yet firing on all cylinders.

“Somebody’s got to do it sometime and although Liverpool have not been playing at their very best they‘ve been getting some really good results,” Evans told PA Sport.

“What they have shown this year, and perhaps not in previous years, is a real spirit.

“If they go behind they‘ve come back and won games, for example recently against Wigan and Man City, and they’ve also shown they can beat the top teams by beating Man United, which over the last few years they haven’t done.

“Chelsea, down at Stamford Bridge, is a difficult game. They are playing some great stuff but I just feel that if Liverpool go down there and play at their very best, they can come away with a result.”

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