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Benitez in dilemma over risking Torres

  • Story Highlights
  • Rafael Benitez ponders whether to risk Fernando Torres against Portsmouth
  • Star striker Torres still struggling with a niggling hamstring injury
  • Benitez under pressure after selling Robbie Keane back to Tottenham Hotspur
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(CNN) -- Rafael Benitez is facing a "big decision" over whether to risk star striker Fernando Torres for Liverpool's trip to Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday.

Torres scored twice against Chelsea but made little impression in the cup defeat at Everton.

Torres scored twice against Chelsea but made little impression in the cup defeat at Everton.

Torres was clearly struggling in Liverpool's FA Cup exit to Everton on Wednesday and his manager knows he is playing for high stakes having sold fellow striker Robbie Keane to Tottenham Hotspur earlier this week.

It was a decision which left a considerable weight on the shoulders of Torres, who has suffered three hamstring problems while on international duty this season and has been called up for next week's friendly against England in Seville.

Benitez's problems intensified when captain and goalscoring midfielder Steven Gerrard limped out of the cup defeat after 15 minutes and is set to be sidelined for three weeks.

"Everyone can see that Torres is not quite up to his full fitness yet after his last hamstring injury," Benitez admitted to Press Association.

"He was capable of scoring two against Chelsea last weekend but also looking tired against Everton.

"We now must see whether he is ready for the next game, that is our big decision."

Benitez said he will be speaking to Spain coach Vicente del Bosque over next Wednesday's match.

"The problem now is that Spain are doing so well, they want to keep everybody together and they want to continue to create a very good atmosphere," he added.

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Liverpool have not lost a Premier League game since November, but a series of home draws and tepid performances have left them two points adrift of champions Manchester United, who have a game in hand.

Benitez again defended his decision to transfer Keane, who will be in Tottenham's lineup against Arsenal on Sunday.

"We must play a few games without Stevie, but we have options even after selling Robbie Keane," Benitez said.

Benitez will be without the suspended Lucas and also has a worry over Xabi Alonso's ankle injury for the trip to Fratton Park, with the home side desperate for points to pull away from the relegation zone under Tony Adams.

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