Thursday 6th November 2003 


Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier is expecting a tough test from Steaua Bucharest as his side travel to Romania for the first leg of their Uefa Cup second round tie.
The Reds are without star striker Michael Owen, who has been left behind to receive treatment on an ankle injury with Sunday's game with Manchester United in mind.

Young French striker Florent Sinama-Pongolle is fighting to replace Owen, although Houllier could decide to pair Harry Kewell in attack alongside Emile Heskey.

Senegal ace El Hadji Diouf is available again after missing last weekend's win over Fulham through suspension and he is expected to come straight back into the team.

Stephane Henchoz and John Arne Riise are both pushing for returns to the side and are battling against Igor Biscan and Djimi Traore, who have both played at centre back and left back respectively in recent games.

German midfielder Dietmar Hamann is likely to continue his recovery from injury with a place on the bench.

Steaua will be aiming to add Liverpool to their list of scalps after knocking out Southampton in the previous round.

The home side have suffered a major blow with the news that top marksman Laurentiu Dinita will miss both legs of the second round tie through injury.

Dinita picked up a thigh injury last weekend and faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

The Romanians are also without midfielder Sorin Paraschiv after he picked up an injury in training but playmaker Marian Aliuta is back having recovered from a thigh problem.



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