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Skrtel hopes to keep first-team spot

The Slovakia international is on a run of seven consecutive starts and, after falling out of favour towards the end of last season, knows he must maintain a high standard to keep his place.

"After last season when I couldn’t get into the team, this season has been very different so far," Skrtel told the Liverpool Echo.

"I am very happy. I am playing every game and trying to do my best for the team.

"Now I have to try to stay in the starting XI. It's up to me to keep proving to the manager that I deserve a place."

Daniel Agger's return from a rib injury will put Skrtel and fellow centre-backs Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho on high alert, with the Dane sure to push them for a starting berth having taken a seat on the bench for the last three matches.

"There is real competition for places at the back but that’s good for everybody," Skrtel continued. "It's important because it pushes everyone to do better.

"You have to show what you can do every day in training and you know that if don’t perform there’s someone waiting to take your place."

Liverpool host West Bromwich Albion on Saturday hoping to stretch their unbeaten run to four.