Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel is excited about the “physical battle” with Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday.
Benteke’s form has helped Villa climb six points clear of the relegation zone in the Premier League, with the Belgium international recapturing his goalscoring touch.
The 24-year-old has scored in six of his past eight matches, netting nine times.
But Skrtel is welcoming the challenge of taking on Benteke, saying he preferred to face physical strikers more than speedsters.
“To be honest, I prefer to play against the type of striker like him, like [Diego] Costa,” the Slovakian, who is returning from suspension, said.
“That is better because for me I don’t want to chase the little guys.
“Obviously I don’t want to say it is easier for me, but I enjoy that more.
“There will be a physical battle, no doubt. He is the type of player you have to expect that because he is big and strong. He is quick too, but we are ready for that and we will do everything to stop him.”
Liverpool are without a trophy under manager Brendan Rodgers, who took over at the club in June 2012.
Skrtel said his team had a massive opportunity to finally lift silverware, with a final against either Reading or Arsenal awaiting the winners.
“Obviously it is very important for him [Rodgers] but not just for him, but also for us the players, the whole team, the club because Liverpool is a big club, one of the biggest in the world so we need a trophy,” he said.
“Every footballer plays for trophies. This is the big chance and the opportunity for us to get one.”
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