Liverpool's Xabi ready to face Man Utd

The Spain international has played just six games this season after suffering two metatarsal injuries, but has returned to training after recovering from the second blow sustained against Arsenal on October 28.

Whether or not Alonso is ready to displace Javier Mascherano in midfield is still open to debate given his lack of sharpness, but Benitez has still welcomed the return of the pass master.

"Alonso was training today and hopefully he will be okay for the weekend," Benitez told the club's official website.

"He might have problems because he hasn't trained with the group for a long time, but physically he will be fit.

Benitez added regarding his squad's fitness: " [Steve] Finnan is injured - we'll have to check on him to see if he can play at the weekend. [Daniel] Agger will need a little bit more time."

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