Mascherano: We must keep winning
Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano will sit out tomorrow's Carling Cup tie at Arsenal, insisting his colleagues must build on their heroics against champions Manchester United. The Argentina captain was sent off during that 2-0 victory and is banned from the fourth-round game at the Emirates.
But Mascherano is certain Liverpool must not let up now they have found their form again. "Beating United was very important for our confidence, but it's just one win, we must do it again in the Carling Cup at Arsenal on Wednesday and then over and over again in the league and in Europe," he said.
Liverpool follow tomorrow's match with a trip back to the capital on Saturday to play Fulham, ahead of next Wednesday's UEFA Champions League date with Lyon in France.
Neither Fernando Torres or Steven Gerrard are expected to be involved against Arsenal. The Spain striker was only 80 per cent fit against United after a groin injury, but still managed a cracking opening goal.
Gerrard sat in the stands with old team-mates Sami Hyypia and Dietmar Hamann, nursing his own groin problem. It is expected manager Rafa Benitez will give his two key players a week to get themselves ready for Fulham.
Mascherano, though, knows the need to get Torres fully fit and Gerrard back soon. "Fernando proved what a good player he is for us, and that he can be the difference and we are happy that he is back because we need him," said the former River Plate, Corinthians and West Ham United player.
"We are waiting for Stevie (Gerrard) to be fit as well. We won against United without him, but we know he's really important and a key player for us and we want to have him back as soon as possible. We have to continue winning because we are six points behind Chelsea in the league."
Benitez is likely to use fringe players at Arsenal, but is believed to be considering a role - probably from the bench - for midfielder Alberto Aquilani. The Italian has been recovering from a knee injury since his £20m move from Roma in the summer, but had a 15-minute run-out for the reserves last week and looked ready for a first-team opportunity.
Otherwise, Liverpool are likely to give goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri, Jay Spearing, Andriy Voronin, Ryan Babel and Philipp Degen starting roles.