Agger set for Reds recall

Rafael Benitez is set to recall Daniel Agger if Sami Hyypia fails to recover in time to feature at Manchester City on Sunday.

updated: December 31, 2007 11:56 IST
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Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is set to recall Daniel Agger if Sami Hyypia fails to recover in time to feature at Manchester City on Sunday.

Denmark international Agger, who started the season in central defence alongside Jamie Carragher, has been sidelined since September with a foot problem.

But with veteran Hyypia struggling with an ankle injury sustained in the 2-1 win at Derby on Boxing Day, the 23-year-old could start at Eastlands.

Benitez said: "It will be difficult for Sami. He is working hard with the physios and we are waiting to see whether he will be available. We will have to wait and see.

"If Sami doesn't play then we can think about using Daniel. He is training and is very close now."

With Manchester United playing West Ham on Saturday, Liverpool could go into Sunday's match 12 points off the Premiership leaders.

Although they will have two games in hand over Sir Alex Ferguson's side, Benitez admits his side can afford no slip-ups.

He added: "It will be a really difficult game because they have a fantastic record at home.

"They have a manager with experience and good players who work really hard.

"As always though we have confidence. Our away form has been good this season and we are looking for that to continue on Sunday.

"It's important for us to just keep winning. Other teams around us have been dropping points and if we win matches then at the end of this period we can have a look at the league table and see how things stand.

"Our season has not been bad, but it could be better. We are in a good position. It could be better, but the best of us is still to come."

City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson admits the game will hinge on whether his team can stop Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard.

Eriksson's side dropped Premiership points for the first time at home this season with a 2-2 draw with Blackburn on Thursday night but they could move above the Reds with a victory over Benitez's men.

But Eriksson knows all about the threat of Gerrard after the two of them worked together closely during his spell in charge of England.

The Swede said: "Steven is one of the best players you can find. He has everything.

"He can defend. He can tackle incredibly well. He has vision, he is an extremely good passer. He can shoot, score goals and has the energy to get up and down the pitch.

"It is very difficult to say who is the best player in the country but Steven is certainly one of them - and has been for a long time now.

"As long as I was England manager, he was extremely important to me. He was important to England last year after I left and he will be very important in the future as well.

"Of course it will be difficult, we know that. It can't be easy to beat Liverpool. We will do our best and we will fight. Who knows what will happen after that."