Liverpool must cope without star trio

Liverpool will be without influential trio Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and Yossi Benayoun for Saturday's tough trip to take on Stoke.

Last Updated: 16/01/10 at 08:33

Mascherano: Bolsters Reds midfield

Mascherano: Bolsters Reds midfield

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All were injured in the midweek FA Cup exit to Reading, with Torres requiring knee surgery which will keep him out for six weeks, Benayoun sustaining a broken rib likely to sideline him for a month and Gerrard out for a fortnight with a hamstring problem.

Goalkeeper Jose Reina, who missed out on Wednesday with a slight back injury, will be assessed late on.

Defensive midfielder Javier Mascherano returns after a four-match suspension and new signing Maxi Rodriguez will also be involved after signing from Atletico Madrid in midweek.

Winger Albert Riera is included again after recovering from a hamstring problem but Dutch forward Ryan Babel has been dropped from the squad.

Kick-off is at 12.45pm.

Liverpool (from): Reina, Degen, Skrtel, Carragher, Agger, Insua, Aquilani, Lucas, Rodriguez, Ngog, Kuyt, Aurelio, Cavalieri, Kyrgiakos, Pacheco, Spearing, Darby.

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