Midfielder upbeat over injury

Liverpool’s Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso is confident he will win his fitness battle in time to start in Saturday’s FA Cup Final against West Ham at the Millennium Stadium.

Alonso was stretchered off during the Reds’ 3-1 Premiership victory at Portsmouth on Sunday and initially it looked as if he would be forced to miss Saturday’s final, alongside the suspended Luis Garcia, cup-tied Robbie Fowler and injured Bolo Zenden.

But today Alonso told the official Liverpool FC web site that he hopes shake off the ankle injury for the trip to Cardiff. “My injury is getting better. I’ll have to wait a little bit longer to see how it continues to improve,” he said. “I’m not involved with the team in training at the moment but I still hope to be fit for Saturday.

“It will be a nightmare for me if I can’t be there. I was in the stands with an injury for the Carling Cup final as well and I don’t want to go through that experience again.

“I am improving but I’ll have to wait a couple more days before we can make a final decision.”

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