Pre-Bolton (h) Press Talk

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Hope you’re feeling stuffed after your Christmas dinner yesterday, and ready to return your attention to the more important things in life as the Premier League resumes it’s festive programme this afternoon.

Liverpool are at home to Bolton at 3pm, and welcome the return of manager Rafa Benitez who missed last Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Arsenal whilst recovering from his recent kidney operation. Also back, according to Mark Ogden of The Guardian is Fernando Torres.

The Spanish forward, who has been restricted to 16 appearances for Liverpool this season because of three hamstring injuries, has undergone intensive ¬rehabilitation at the club’s Melwood training ground. In his month away from the first team ¬Liverpool’s medical staff have attempted to analyse every aspect of his hamstring and the frailties that have contributed to his problems. He has also been subjected to a strengthening programme.

James Ducker of The Times looks ahead to this afternoon’s game, warning that the Reds must improve their home form if they are to maintain their position at the head of the Premier League table.

Liverpool’s delight at leading the league table at Christmas has been tempered by the the club’s past three home matches ending in disappointing draws against opposition they would have expected to beat. Fulham, West Ham United and Hull City have frustrated Liverpool in recent weeks, to the dismay of supporters who have made their feelings known during a series of below-par performances.

The Daily Mirror keep the transfer speculation brewing by insisting that Liverpool will attempt to re-sign Emile Heskey next week:

The Merseyside club will offer a ‘˜take it or leave it’ fee of £4million for the England striker when the transfer window opens on January 1.

Manager Rafa Benitez wants cover for his strikers, and also the problem right-wing berth, and sees Heskey as the perfect cut-price option.

So that’s about it as far as press murmurings this morning. It’s over to Anfield and hopefully the Reds can do the business this afternoon. It’s Happy Birthday This Is Anfield, which is seven years old today. So let me take this opportunity to thank everyone who has every contributed to the site, and my co-editor partner in crime, Matt Ladson. Come on Redmen!

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