Crouch offered chance to impress

Liverpool striker set to start against Gunners

Peter Crouch could be offered the opportunity to force his way back into the plans of Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez against Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday.

Benitez is expected to ring the changes at the Emirates Stadium following Wednesday's 1-1 UEFA Champions League quarter-final first-leg draw and with Tuesday's return meeting at Anfield in mind.

Fernando Torres has become Benitez's firm favourite up front following a blistering first season in England, but the Spaniard is expected to be rested in the league and Crouch - who has slipped down the pecking order this season to leave his future in doubt - will be given the nod.

Manchester City, Portsmouth and Newcastle are believed to be lining up a summer move for Crouch, but Benitez has hinted the striker will be start alongside Andrei Voronin at Emirates Stadium.


When asked about his starting line-up in North London on Saturday, Benitez said in the Daily Mail: "Maybe this could turn out to be an opportunity for the likes of Peter."

Benitez has confirmed some members of his squad are struggling for full fitness as they prepare for the second instalment of their trilogy with Arsenal.

And with Champions League qualification for next season still in doubt as Liverpool battle with Merseyside rivals Everton for fourth place in the table, Benitez says he will wait before making a decision upon the fitness of Torres.

"We have players with knocks," added Benitez. "Torres was tired after Wednesday.

"We will have to look at fitness levels and decide who has fresh legs to give us the quality we need, but this could be a chance for the likes of Crouch."