MILAN (Reuters) - Midfielder Xabi Alonso will miss Liverpool’s Champions League match at Inter Milan on Tuesday because his girlfriend is having a baby, coach Rafael Benitez said on Monday.
Liverpool, 2-0 up from the first leg, will also be without right back Steve Finnan through injury but Javier Mascherano is fit to play after recovering from a dead leg.
“Alonso’s girlfriend is having a baby so he will not be here,” the Spanish coach told a news conference ahead of the last 16, second leg.
“He wanted to come if everything was okay but we couldn’t wait so in the end we had to decide. I cannot wait, wait, wait - I need to use my squad. Mascherano is ok, he is fit and will be here.”
During the news conference, Benitez was informed of reports that Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks had terminated talks with DIC over a stake in the club. Benitez said his side would not be distracted.
“My reaction is trying to score a goal and win the game,” he said. “We know we can not defend for a long time against a very good team. We need to attack. I have a lot of confidence that we will go forward.”
Last season’s runners-up have won five in a row coming into the match with striker Fernando Torres and captain Steven Gerrard in top form.
Jamie Carragher, who may play right back in the absence of Finnan, is also set to become the first Liverpool player to appear in 100 European games on Tuesday.
“We know that Torres is on fire, the understanding with Gerrard is good,” Benitez added. “Carragher is a player with a good mentality, he is a key player for us now and in the future.”
Editing by Pritha Sarkar
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