Poulsen: Reds can challenge for glory

The Denmark midfielder signed from Juventus earlier this month and
made his Reds debut in Thursday’s Europa League play-off victory
over Trabzonspor at Anfield. Poulsen is now hoping for his first
taste of Premier League action as Liverpool take on big-spending
Manchester City at Eastlands on Monday night. After splashing out
more than £120million on new players in the summer, City are
expecting to break into the top four at the very least this season.
Liverpool slipped out of that elite group last term but Poulsen
believes they too are well capable of qualifying for the Champions
League. Poulsen, who watched as the Reds opened their campaign with
an encouraging draw against Arsenal, said: “I think we have to have
a strong enough squad to compete with the big teams. “I think we
showed last Sunday the team is ready for the Premier League and I
hope we can have a win at City. “I am glad to be here and I look
forward to playing with my new colleagues. “I need to get the
rhythm of the teams here at Liverpool but we have a good squad.”
Poulsen, who cost £4.5million, showed some of his quality on
Thursday by firing narrowly over the bar after winning the ball and
linking well with Milan Jovanovic. The 30-year-old also had a goal
disallowed after a debatable foul on the goalkeeper by team-mate
Joe Cole. Hodgson was impressed enough with his first outing and
would have no hesitation using him again, although the likes of
Steven Gerrard and Javier Mascherano are set to return. “The
opposition was of Premier League standard, no question, and I
thought he played very well,” said Hodgson. “I am surprised how
well he played considering how little match practice he had. “I am
satisfied with his performance. If he can perform well against
Trabzonspor he can perform well in the Premier League.” Despite
continuing speculation over his future, Mascherano is hoping to
overcome a calf muscle injury to feature. Daniel Agger is doubtful
after suffering concussion against Arsenal. The likes of Gerrard,
Glen Johnson, Dirk Kuyt and Martin Skrtel are back after being
rested on Thursday, but Cole misses out as he begins a three-match
domestic suspension.