Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Masch wants to continue the winning habit

Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano insists his team's heroics against champions Manchester United will mean nothing unless they start winning "over and over again", starting with the Carling Cup tie at Arsenal.

Mascherano was red-carded during the stunning 2-0 victory over United and is banned from the fourth-round clash at the Emirates. But the Argentina skipper is certain Liverpool must not let up now they have found their form again.

He said: "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.''

Liverpool follow tomorrow's match with a trip back to the capital on Saturday to play Fulham, ahead of next Wednesday's Champions League clash in France against Lyon.

Neither Fernando Torres or Steven Gerrard are expected to be involved against Arsenal. Torres was only 80% fit after a groin injury against United, 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 boss Rafael 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," he said. "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 £20million move in the summer from Roma, 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.

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