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By ESPN Staff

Davies warns Villa to be wary of world-class Torres

Curtis Davies has hailed Fernando Torres as ''one of the best strikers in the world'' and warned that Aston Villa will have to be at their best to contain the Liverpool star in Monday's Premier League clash at Anfield.

Central defender Davies is looking for Villa to erase the memory of last season's 5-0 drubbing in the corresponding fixture, and bounce back quickly from Thursday's single-goal reversal by Rapid Vienna in the Europa League first leg qualifier.

Davies is battling to overcome a shoulder injury in time to face the Reds in a game that is being shown live on ESPN, but is aware whoever is in action faces a demanding test of their abilities if they are to shackle Torres.

The former West Brom skipper said: ''You can't have special plans for a player like Torres because he's one of the best strikers in the world.

''If you make a plan for him he'll do something different. He's that good a player. Last year we didn't do well against Liverpool - but at least he was quiet - and the year before we did well when we drew 2-2.

''We play against top players every week but they don't get any bigger than Torres.

''We'll have to be on our game and hopefully it'll be more like the scoreline of two years ago than of last season.''

Davies has been dogged by shoulder problems in recent years and it had previously flared up in pre-season during the Peace Cup tournament in Spain.

Villa boss Martin O'Neill is hoping Davies can avoid surgery in the immediate future, particularly as he has only two experienced centre-backs in the ex-Luton player and Carlos Cuellar at his disposal at present.

Davies said: ''I don't know about Monday. It's one of those situations where I'll try and give it a go but I'll have to see what the doctors say.

''It came out [the shoulder] against Porto in the Peace Cup and I was back playing two days later against Juventus so we'll wait and see.''


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