Arbeloa - Reds can cope

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Arbeloa: In confident mood

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Alvaro Arbeloa insists Liverpool can beat Manchester United without Steven Gerrard or Fernando Torres.

The influential duo look set to miss Saturday's encounter at Anfield through injury, seriously damaging the Reds' attacking threat.

Club captain Gerrard is recovering from groin surgery, while Spanish superstar Torres is struggling with a hamstring strain.

Both men have not been ruled out of the crunch encounter this weekend, but are facing a race against time to prove their fitness ahead of the derby date.

Should they make the game their presence will undoubtedly lift the side, but Arbeloa is confident that Rafa Benitez's men can cope without the pair should they fail to return.


The Spain international told the club's official website: "Fernando and Stevie are really important for us and they are probably our best players. But we have a really good squad and know we have other really good players too. We can still beat Manchester United without Fernando and Stevie.

"It will be a hard game for us, but it will also be tough for them. Their defenders have to play against players like Yossi Benayoun, Dirk Kuyt and Robbie Keane.

"This is really important for us because we have a fantastic team with great players. I think we can be successful. We now have people like Robbie Keane, who is a really good player, and Albert Riera too."


Riera could make his Liverpool debut against the Red Devils, having previously made his Premier League bow against Sir Alex Ferguson's men during his time at Manchester City.

The Spaniard helped the Blues to a 3-1 success that day, the ideal way to start a productive loan spell, and Arbeloa is tipping the winger to enjoy similar success on Merseyside.

"I've played with him once for Spain against Italy and I think he's a really good player," said the full-back.

"We didn't have a player like Riera, so he is a good signing. I think he could be a really good player for us because he played with Manchester City three years ago and has experience.

"All the Spanish players have been talking to him and he is a really good guy. Talking to the other Spanish players can only make it easier for him."