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• Midfielders break down with hamstring injuries
• Liverpool wait on extent of injury to Glen Johnson
Rafael Benítez's worst fears over the fitness of Yossi Benayoun and Albert Riera have been confirmed after the Liverpool midfielders were diagnosed with torn hamstrings that could sideline them for a month.
The Liverpool manager has been beset by injury problems during a dreadful sequence of one win in nine games and immediately suspected hamstring tears after the duo limped out of Monday's draw with Birmingham City.
Scans have confirmed Benítez's worries and, although the club have refused to put a timeframe on their recovery, they are expected to be out for around three to four weeks. Riera was absent for three weeks with his initial hamstring injury, only to aggravate the problem just 45 minutes into his return against Alex McLeish's side.
The losses of Riera and particularly Benayoun represent major setbacks for Benítez, who, with the notable exception of Fernando Torres, had reason to believe his injury crisis was easing before the Birmingham game. Benayoun and Riera will almost certainly miss the home game with Manchester City on 21 November plus the European trip to Hungary to face Debrecen three days later.
Liverpool must beat the Hungarian champions Debrecen to retain hope of advancing from the Champions League group stage, although qualification will be beyond Benítez's team should Fiorentina defeat Lyon in Italy on the same night.
The demanding sequence continues for Liverpool with the first Merseyside derby of the season at Everton on 29 November, when the Israel captain and Spain international could still be absent.
Liverpool should today discover the full extent of the calf problem that forced Glen Johnson's withdrawal from the England squad to meet Brazil in Doha this weekend. The right-back has been hindered by calf and groin injuries in recent weeks, and Daniel Agger withdrew from Denmark's squad for friendlies against South Korea and the United States after suffering a reaction to a persistent back problem against Birmingham. Liverpool are hopeful, however, that the Dane's complaint will not cause another long-term lay-off.
Torres and Steven Gerrard are continuing to receiving daily treatment on their respective hernia and adductor problems as Liverpool attempt to eradicate the need for their key talents to undergo surgery. "We will see how he reacts," Benítez said of the Spain striker yesterday. "We are not considering an operation yet. We haven't got a deadline. We just need to see how he is every day."
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Bordeaux midfielder Yoann Gourcuff has declared that his dream team is Barcelona but admitted that he feels he is still some way off the level needed to play for the European champions.
The 23-year-old France international said the Blaugrana is the best team in the world and has been for fifteen years and praised their style of football, which he feels he is close to matching.
"In the last ten or fifteen years they have been best team in football in my opinion. It is great that they confirmed this with victory in the Champions League. All players on this team should feel a tremendous joy of playing football together. It is the best team right now," he said, according to El Mundo Deportivo.
"I'm still far from being able to join Barcelona, especially with their current midfield. But in the approach to the style of play, I'm pretty close."
"The truth is that gives me great pleasure to see players like Xavi, who are in constant motion, giving, offering ... That's exactly what I like about football."
Source: Goal & Sport.es
I'm tired of rumors starting
I'm sick of being followed
I'm tired of people lying
Saying what they want about me
Why can't they back up off me
Why can't they let me live
I'm gonna do it my way
Take this for just what it is
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Miroslav Klose Quarantined over Swine Flu
Bayern Munich media director Markus Hoerwick said Thursday that "we have to wait and see how the situation develops."
oh no, his babies have the flu! :(