Rafa saves Masch for City clash
Rafa Benitez has revealed he rested Javier Mascherano against PSV for this weekend's trip to Eastlands.
Last Updated: 03/10/08 9:48am
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has revealed he rested Javier Mascherano against PSV Eindhoven for this weekend's trip to Eastlands.
Mascherano missed last weekend's win over Everton with a calf problem, but he was included on the bench in midweek after recovering from the injury.
However, Benitez decided to give the Argentine some extra rest so that he would be fit and raring to go against Manchester City.
"Javier was fit, he was fine. But we had four days between the PSV game and the trip to Manchester City, so I felt the player could be held back for the game on Sunday," admitted Benitez.
"Everyone was fit, but I knew we had Lucas who could come on and play in midfield. I preferred to think of the next game and keep Javier for that.
Fine"Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard were also both doing fine, so there was no need to use him against PSV, I preferred to keep him back for the games we have to come."
Benitez has close to a full-strength squad to choose from for the clash with ambitious City with Fernando Torres and Ryan Babel expected to shake off minor knocks.
"Ryan Babel has a minor knock, not serious," added Benitez. "And I do not believe that there is much wrong with Fernando Torres, he took a heavy tackle against PSV but he will be fine for the weekend."
Meanwhile, Benitez is hoping Robbie Keane can score his first Premier League goal for Liverpool against City after breaking his duck in midweek against PSV.
"It was really important for Robbie to score," noted Benitez. "He will now have no pressure and more confidence. He has got his first for the club, but in Europe.
"I would want him now to go out and score his first Premier League goal for us in the next match."