Liverpool's title challenge already over: Torres

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Even with five months of the season remaining, Liverpool striker Fernando Torres has conceded that the Premier League title is out of reach.

Updated: December 12, 2009 18:38 IST
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London :

Even with five months of the season remaining, Liverpool striker Fernando Torres has conceded that the Premier League title is out of reach.

That will make Sunday's match against Arsenal even more painful for the Spaniard. Arsenal might be third in the standings _ eight points behind leader Chelsea _ but Liverpool is a further four adrift in seventh.

With Liverpool also exiting the Champions League at the group stage after Wednesday's 2-1 defeat by Fiorentina, the top two prizes have gone. All the players have to fight for is the FA Cup, the Europa League trophy and ensuring they finish in the top four to qualify for Europe's elite competition next season.

"We are really far out from the Premier League, so we now change our targets," Torres said. "We have to think the Europa League and FA Cup are the two competitions we can win this season and obviously trying to stay in the top four. Staying together is the main thing now.

"If we can stay together _ manager, players, staff, everyone at the club _ we have quality enough to stay in the top four and win trophies."

Torres is available to make it happen after recovering from a groin injury that has prevented him from playing in the league since October.

"Arsenal are doing quite well this season," Torres said. "They are close to the top and playing with young players and doing really good. The mentality of the manager and players is brilliant, but we are playing at Anfield and with the help of our supporters we can beat anyone."

Torres, who arrived in the 2007 offseason, is yet to win a title with Liverpool, which hasn't won anything since the 2006 FA Cup.

"If we win one trophy, it will have been a nice season, so we are on target," he said. "The people of Liverpool deserve to play in finals, whether it be in Europe or England, it is a long time since we played in a final and they deserve more trophies."

Offseason recruit Alberto Aquilani, who started his first match against Fiorentina, could also be available from the start against Arsenal.

The visitors, though, are hampered by a lack of fully fit strikers and will be relying on Andrei Arshavin.

The Russia forward is returning to the scene where he marked his arrival in English football in April by scoring four goals to clinch a 4-4 draw that helped to end Liverpool's title hopes.

Arshavin has been frustrated that he hasn't had many repeats of that devastating display at Anfield.

"It doesn't matter where I play _ on the right side or the left _ I don't think I have played that well," Arshavin said. "Only sometimes have I shown my full skills and I am not sure why that is. But we are still doing well and fighting for top place so that is very positive and I still have time to show something of myself."

In Saturday's matches, league leader Chelsea is at home to struggling Everton, while second-place Manchester United hosts fifth-place Aston Villa in a tricky match for the defending champion.

Also on Saturday, it's: Birmingham vs. West Ham; Bolton vs. Manchester City; Burnley vs. Fulham; Hull vs. Blackburn; Stoke vs. Wigan; Sunderland vs. Portsmouth; and Tottenham vs. Wolverhampton.

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