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Hunger is back at Barca

Barcelona
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By ESPN Staff

Benitez still to decide over Torres starting role

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez insists he is far from certain he will pick striker Fernando Torres for Saturday's Premier League clash with Wigan despite the Spaniard's midweek hat-trick in the Carling Cup.

Benitez says the need to protect star players such as Torres outweighs the desire to play him in every match, particularly when he has so many quality alternatives at his disposal.

Benitez said: 'I don't know if Torres will start against Wigan. It is a good story for the newspapers and the television but I need to decide because I know my players and watch every training session.

'We signed Torres because we knew about his quality and we bought Kuyt and Voronin and Crouch. Everybody is talking about Torres because he scored three goals but as a manager you have to make the decisions.

'You need to protect key players. It is important that if you want to see better football you need to protect the players with quality then we'll see more goals and maybe people will be happier.'

Meanwhile Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry has admitted it is imperative for his club to move to their proposed new stadium as soon as possible in order to keep financial pace with their major rivals.

Figures released on Monday showed Arsenal's move to the Emirates Stadium has driven a near 50% increase in turnover with operating profits for the year ending May 31 up a massive 274%.

Liverpool's plans for a new stadium in Stanley Park are still on the drawing board as they wait for a new planning application to be approved and aim at an opening in 2010.

Parry said: 'We have been saying for years on a match by match basis we are too far behind Manchester United and now Arsenal too. If we are to continue to compete then a new stadium is vital.

'The only reason we want the new stadium is to generate extra revenue. It's not about building monuments or vanity, it's about hard-headed common-sense to generate more revenue to enable us to be competitive.'