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Liverpool boss Benitez ready to risk Torres against Real Madrid

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is ready to risk Fernando Torres' fitness for their Champions League return-leg against Real Madrid.

With only Ryan Babel and the inexperienced David Ngog as cover up front for Torres, Benitez is desperate for Spain's Euro 2008 winner to play at Anfield, even if it means him missing the Premier League encounter at Old Trafford four days later.

He said: "We are pushing Torres and are trying to get him fit for the game. He is very important to us. I imagine Torres also wants to finish off the job. The Liverpool win was the first time he had tasted success against Real Madrid."

Torres, who started his career at Real's Madrid rivals Atletico, said: "I am optimistic I will be ready for Real Madrid and hope the ankle holds out so I will also be at Manchester United."

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Tribal Football Staff

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