Torres comes back for Reds

Striker Fernando Torres made his first start for Liverpool since January 13 as manager Rafael Benitez named an attacking line-up for the visit of Blackburn to Anfield.

The Spain international made his comeback from a knee operation as a substitute in last weekend’s goalless draw at Manchester City but was not used in the Europa League tie against Unirea Urziceni on Thursday.

Torres was one of four changes from the team that started in Romania, although one of the significant alterations was Javier Mascherano playing at right-back.

The Argentina midfielder had an hour-long spell in that position against Everton earlier this month when Liverpool were reduced to 10 men but was pressed into action there again because Martin Skrtel’s broken foot meant Jamie Carragher moved into the centre of defence.

Fabio Aurelio came in at left-back, with Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez also restored to the starting line-up, while captain Steven Gerrard played in a more orthodox central midfield role.

Blackburn made only one change from the side that beat Bolton 3-0 last week, with centre-back Chris Samba replacing injured captain Ryan Nelsen.

Liverpool: Reina, Mascherano, Carragher, Agger, Aurelio, Benayoun, Gerrard, Lucas, Maxi, Kuyt, Torres.

Subs: Cavalieri, Aquilani, Babel, Insua, Ngog, Kelly, Ayala.

Blackburn: Robinson, Salgado, Samba, Givet, Olsson, Hoilett, Nzonzi, Andrews, Pedersen, Diouf, Kalinic.

Subs: Brown, Emerton, Dunn, Roberts, Grella, Di Santo, Chimbonda.

Referee: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire)

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