LONDON: Arsenal and Liverpool return to Champions League action this week seeking to recover from what could be crushing Premier League losses. Arsenal is desperate for a morale-boosting victory over visiting Fenerbahce after a defeat at lowly Stoke left the Gunners six points off the top of the Premier League and fading from title contention. Liverpool will be keen to beat Atletico Madrid after its first loss of the season at Tottenham cost it first place.
Both English teams look well placed to rebound, with Arsenal having won 5-2 at Fenerbahce two weeks ago and the Liverpool team that drew 1-1 in Madrid likely to be strengthened by the return from injury of star striker Fernando Torres.
“Hopefully he will be ready,” Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez said. “If he cannot start the game then he will be on the bench if everything is OK. It’s good we have another important game on Tuesday and the reaction of the players has to be to play well and win the game.
“We just have to keep going and keep playing the same way.”
Torres has not played for almost a month because of a hamstring problem, but Benitez left him out of Saturday’s loss at Tottenham to make sure he is fit to face his former club.
Liverpool and Atletico share the lead of Group D and both look likely to advance to the next round irrespective of the result, although the loser at Anfield on Tuesday could still be caught by PSV Eindhoven or Marseille — which meet in the group’s other match.
PSV is expected to have a full strength side at Marseille, with defenders Mike Zonneveld and Jan Kromkamp set to return from injury and winger Nordin Amrabat hoping to pass a late test on a groin problem.
“Marseille has a lot of quality but if we are well-organised, we stand a chance to beat them,” PSV coach Huub Stevens said. — AP