Reds confirm Mascherano ban

BY foxsports • December 20, 2009

Liverpool have confirmed Javier Mascherano will serve a four-match ban after his sending off at Fratton Park during the Reds' 2-0 defeat.

The Argentina captain was shown a straight red card by referee Lee Mason and now faces his second suspension of the season.

Mascherano will miss the forthcoming fixtures against Wolves, Aston Villa, the FA Cup third round tie at Reading and the league clash with Tottenham on January 10.

However, his participation in at least some of those games would have been in doubt anyway as he had to be helped off the field having been shown the red card and is believed to have sustained medial knee ligament damage.

The absence of the Argentinian, who was just starting to rediscover his form, will be a huge blow to Benitez.

It leaves the Liverpool boss having to decide whether to drop Steven Gerrard back from his attacking role just behind Fernando Torres or play £20million summer signing Alberto Aquilani, who he has been holding back because of ongoing concerns about his fitness.

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