Con­fi­dent Brad means Pepe not Rus­sian to re­turn

LIVER­POOL v ANZHI MAKHACHKALA Live on ITV4 – 8.05pm

Midweek Sport - - ON THE NOSE -

LIVER­POOL goal­keeper Pepe Reina is hop­ing to re­turn to ac­tion in Sun­day’s derby – but in­sists the Reds will be in safe hands with Brad Jones against r olling- i n- cash Anzhi.

The Reds are third in the group af­ter los­ing their first home match to Udi­nese. Rus­sian out­fit Anzhi arrive on Mersey­side with a wealth of op­tions – striker Sa­muel Eto’o earns a stag­ger­ing £300,000 a week!

There will also be fa­mil­iar faces from the Premier League, with Chris Samba, Yuri Zhirkov and Las­sana Diarra on the pay-roll too. Reina is likely to miss out again af­ter suf­fer­ing a ham­string prob­lem while on in­ter­na­tional duty with Spain.

But he was im­pressed with the show­ing of Aussie deputy Brad Jones in the 1-0 win over Read­ing.

Risks

The for­mer Mid­dles­brough man made his Premier League de­but as the Reds picked up their first home league win of the cam­paign.

But Reina is hop­ing to re­turn in time to face Ever­ton on Sun­day. He said: “I am get­ting bet­ter, lit­tle by lit­tle. It wasn’t worth tak­ing risks be­cause it could get worse. I’ll be pa­tient and get in re­ally good shape.

“Brad was ex­cel­lent. He was com­posed, he was re­ally good in the air, he was fast off his line and he played well with his feet. He had a com­plete game.

“He’s a good fighter and a good keeper for Liver­pool – not just an un­der­study.

“He’ll do his best to play as much as pos­si­ble.”

Kop man­ager Bren­dan Rodgers has been alerted to Klaas-Jan Hun­te­laar’s avail­abil­ity af­ter the Dutch front­man’s Schalke con­tract talks stalled.

But the Reds chief would pre­fer a loan move for Chelsea for­ward Daniel Stur­ridge in Jan­uary.

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