Torres boost ahead of Merseyside derby

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LIVERPOOL, February 5- Albert Riera has given Liverpool's fans a lift ahead of the 213th Merseyside Derby by reassuring them that goalkeeper Pepe Reina and star forward Fernando Torres have no intention of leaving the club.Everton visit Anfield on Saturday for a meeting of two clubs who have hit form and are looking to climb back into contention for European places.

David Moyes’s side are unbeaten in nine Premier League games – their last loss coming against Liverpool at Goodison Park back in November – while the home side have also begun to find form, picking up 14 points from the last 18 available.

Saturday’s early kick-off means a win will lift Liverpool back into the top four, for a few hours at least, and there was further good news from Riera about the plans of his compatriots.

Reina and Torres were both linked with moves away from Liverpool as Benitez’s men struggled earlier in the season, but Riera has insisted that they are both happy in Liverpool and determined to bring silverware to the club.

"It isn’t in the character of any of us to turn our backs and run somewhere else when times are tough," the 27-year-old winger said.

"All of us would like to look back on our Liverpool career and say it was a success. I think exactly like them.

"It is clear how happy Pepe and Fernando are at the club and I have no doubt they will both be here for a very long time no matter what happens.

"They have both said to me that they want to make history with Liverpool and I share that ambition.

"I understand I haven’t enjoyed quite as big an impact on the club as them so far but I intend to."

Merseyside derbies are always passionate and tempestuous affairs and Saturday’s encounter promises to be no different with Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini determined to end Liverpool’s resurgence while simultaneously extending Everton’s run.

The Goodison Park outfit have been decimated by injuries this season and at one stage looked in danger of being embroiled in a relegation battle because they only had 14 fit senior professionals to choose from.

However, the return of the likes of Mikel Arteta, James Vaughan and Phil Neville has coincided with a reversal of those fortunes and if they beat Liverpool the gap between the two sides would close to six points, which is motivation enough for Fellaini.

"You come here for the big games like this," he said. "It’s a derby, it’s a great game, there’s a lot of spark and crackle about the occasion and tension going into it. You can feel the build up, it’s great.

"We are going in to it positively but I think the main thing we’ve got to do is concentrate on putting in a great performance."

"We’ve got to make sure we turn up and put on a good show. If we give a good account of ourselves then who knows what can happen?"

Liverpool will be missing Torres with a knee complaint, Yossi Benayoun, who is still recovering from a rib injury, and Glen Johnson, who is still recovering from a medial knee ligament strain.

Everton are without Arteta (groin) plus defenders Joseph Yobo (hamstring), Phil Jagielka (anterior cruciate) and Tony Hibbert (groin).

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