After sitting out the narrow victory over AFC Bournemouth in the League Cup with a knee problem, there were concerns that Liverpool striker Christian Benteke would miss out on the showdown with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, but the big Belgian has set the record straight less than 24-hours before kick-off.
“I’m good,” said the 24-year old. “I just felt something during the game against Southampton last week. Now it’s behind me and I’m looking forward to the Chelsea game,” he continued. “It was a bit hard for me during the transfer window – I didn’t really have a normal pre-season. Now I’m trying to get back to my old level. “Injuries are part of football but I’m trying to do everything I can to be fit for the rest of the season and to play every game,” explained Benteke. “I try to stay as long as possible [at Melwood] to be really fully fit.”
Now, whether or not he’ll be ready to go from the off remains to be seen, but it sounds like he’s almost certain to play some part when the Reds travel to the Capital this weekend. Liverpool, of course, have been going through somewhat of an injury crisis; Benteke had only just returned from a month long lay-off with a hamstring problem and he was in good company on the treatment table with Danny Ings, who is out for the remainder of the season with an ACL problem, and Daniel Sturridge, who is having knee problems of his own, taking up residence with the club physios. In their place, Divock Origi has been leading the line for Jurgen Klopp’s side, and though he’s yet to find the net, Benteke has been full of praise for his compatriot.
“It’s something new for him. He played in the French league last year and now it’s something new. He has come to a bigger club in Liverpool so he just has to learn every day, like every player,” he said of the youngster. “I like Divock and I like this type of player,” enthused the Belgian, talking fondly of the budding hit-man. “He has great quality, I think everyone knows it in the team and now he just has to show it on the pitch.”