Alonso ready for United test
Xabi Alonso hopes Liverpool can carry their recent good form into their showdown with Man Utd.
By Peter Fraser
Last Updated: 18/03/08 2:14pm
Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso is hoping he and his team-mates can carry their recent run of good form into the Grand Slam Sunday showdown with Manchester United at Old Trafford.
The Reds visit United on the back of seven consecutive victories since their shock FA Cup exit to Barnsley in February and Spanish international Alonso is eager for more of the same.
Alonso, though, insists Liverpool must forget about their recent run of fine form and concentrate fully on recording the victory at Old Trafford that would take Rafa Benitez's side to within eight points of league leaders Manchester United.
"We are in a good moment, playing well and scoring goals, and now we have to think of the next game against Man Utd," Alonso told Liverpool's official website.
"It is going to be a big game, playing at Old Trafford, we know their qualities but we are really looking forward to it."
And Alonso believes the performance of in-form Liverpool striker Fernando Torres, who joined the Reds last summer in a £25million move from Atletico Madrid, could prove crucial at Old Trafford.
"Fernando has improved," Alonso continued. "He has got rid of the pressure he had at Atletico Madrid.
"He is feeling really comfortable playing with his team-mates at Liverpool and because of this he is getting better and better each day which is good news for the team."
Alonso is also relishing his central midfield partnership with Javier Mascherano following Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard's move to a more advanced position.
A combination of injury and the form from Mascherano saw Alonso lose his place in the Liverpool starting XI in the first half of the season, but the former Real Sociedad star has impressed after earning a recent recall.
"I enjoy working with him (Mascherano) and the partnership is working really well at the moment," Alonso added. "We are managing the situation quite well.
"Javier has got great qualities - he holds his position really well, he is physically very strong when he comes up against another player and he plays well for the team."