Mascherano admits improper conduct charge

Javier Mascherano has admitted a charge of improper conduct related to his sending-off against Manchester United last weekend but will seek to avoid a three-match ban by making a personal appearance at a Football Association disciplinary hearing.

The Liverpool midfielder has got himself into trouble because of his protests over the red card, which resulted in him having to be effectively dragged off the pitch by members of the Liverpool coaching staff.

Mascherano, 23, will automatically miss Sunday's derby match against Everton at Anfield and could be banned for two further league matches if the improper conduct charge is upheld.

That would result in him missing the matches against Arsenal on 5 April and Blackburn eight days later, but the midfielder will be available for the Champions League quarter-final first and second legs against Arsenal on 2 and 9 April.