Agger adds to Reds defensive problems
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish will be forced into another reshuffle at the back yet again this season after it was confirmed Daniel Agger had broken a rib.
The Danish international sustained the injury when he fell heavily in the first half of Sunday's 4-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur and had to be substituted before half-time.
He could be out for up to four weeks, which would mean he will miss this Saturday's match against Wolverhampton Wanderers, the short derby trip to Everton and a home match against Manchester United.
With Martin Skrtel serving a one-match suspension for tomorrow's League Cup tie at Brighton, new-signing Sebastian Coates' likely full debut could not be better timed, having been the Dane's replacement at the weekend.
Dalglish's problems were at right-back, where youngster Jon Flanagan started the season, but has not featured since as Martin Kelly and Skrtel have both filled in with first-choice Glen Johnson sidelined since the start of the season.
Kelly has missed the past two and a half games with a hamstring problem, meaning Skrtel had to step in before his sending-off at Spurs, as Johnson's return was brief after suffering a recurrence of his hamstring injury after coming on as a substitute at Stoke City.
Agger's injury means Dalglish has more defensive issues to deal with at a time when his side have lost two successive matches. "Daniel has got a fractured rib, so he's struggling a bit," said manager Kenny Dalglish.
However, the version Agger's agent Per Steffensen gave to the Danish media differs slightly. "It's the worst possible news. He has broken two ribs, and he must keep still for four weeks," Steffensen said.
"Daniel is way down now and I certainly sympathise with him. He will miss the two (international) matches against Cyprus and Portugal and there is a match against Manchester United (on October 15) he also misses. It's insanely annoying."
The loss of Agger should be offset by the return of captain Steven Gerrard, who has been sidelined for six months after a groin operation. Dalglish has already said, however, that the English midfielder's comeback will not automatically solve the problems they encountered against Spurs.
Much has been said about the Reds' performance at White Hart Lane, where they were second-best even before they had Charlie Adam and Skrtel sent off, but Dalglish is keen to move on.
"I think we have exhausted Sunday with what we have said," the Scot said. "It didn't please anybody and the players were really disappointed. We don't think we played well, even with 11 men we didn't play well.
"Maybe that's the standard we are setting for ourselves, but we are not going to settle for anything less. We will look to do the best we possibly can in every game, we won't always play well, but we will always try our best. We didn't start so well on Sunday, which contributed to our downfall, along with Spurs' play."
League Cup focus
That is why Dalglish is keen to focus on the trip to the south coast to face npower Championship high-fliers Brighton. In the previous round the Reds boss named a strong side - unlike predecessor Roy Hodgson who suffered an ignominious exit to League Two Northampton at this stage 12 months ago - and he will do the same again.
"We are pleased to be in the Carling Cup and our intention is to stay in it for as long as we possibly can," Dalglish added. "We will have a strong team out tomorrow night and we will treat it in the same manner as we treated the Exeter game.
"If we go there with the same attitude then we will give ourselves the best chance to win. Brighton are doing fantastically well after getting promotion and were sitting on top of the table until they lost to Leicester.
"It will be a difficult game. We have got to get ourselves right, concentrate on ourselves, do our homework on Brighton and take forward it from there. We will approach it properly and professionally. They were totally professional when we played at Exeter and we'll have to do the same again if we want to get a result."