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Jan, 28, 2013

Injured trio set for Liverpool return

Liverpool could welcome back Jose Enrique, Pepe Reina and Glen Johnson when they visit Arsenal in the Premier League on Wednesday.

Left-back Enrique, who has also taken a more advanced role in the Liverpool team this season, has not played since tearing a hamstring during the 3-0 Premier League win at QPR on December 30.

Goalkeeper Reina has missed the last two matches with a thigh injury, while right-back Johnson sat out Sunday's shock FA Cup fourth-round defeat at Oldham with a hamstring problem.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is keen to put the cup embarrassment behind him by improving his side's league position over the coming weeks, and feels the return of the three absentees will help him achieve that.

"We've got players coming back from injury, which will be good," he said. "Glen Johnson is back, Jose Enrique will be back and Pepe Reina will be back, so we'll travel there with a strong squad and the mentality to get a good result."

Liverpool are in seventh place - seven points off a Champions League spot and 22 adrift of leaders Manchester United - as they prepare to travel to the Emirates.

Rodgers' side have won six of their last nine league games, and the manager is hopeful that they can pick up another victory against the Gunners.

"If we put yesterday aside, the team that has been playing of late in the league has got big confidence," he said.

"We know it's a tough game for us, but it's a game we're certainly going to look to go and try to win - and a game we're capable of winning. On the day, we can go and win the game. There's absolutely no question of that."

Rodgers said Liverpool's 2-0 defeat at home to Arsenal on September 2 was one of their poorest displays of the season, and wants his players to make up for it.

"We played Arsenal earlier on in the season and, because of circumstance, we weren't at our best and deservedly lost the game," he added.

"But I believe we've made improvements, both mentally and tactically, in our game, so it will be equally as tough for them."

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