Rafa Benitez has a couple of major injury worries ahead of Liverpool’s crucial trip to Fulham on Saturday. He could be without central defender Sami Hyypia, midfielder Yossi Benayoun and the Argentine Javier Mascherano for the game at Craven Cottage on Saturday evening.

Hyypia’s participation in Finland’s international fixtures was cut short after he returned to Liverpool with a serious knee injury. The centre back, who has been in fine form of late for Liverpool, picked up the knock during his country’s win over Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.

The initial suspicion is that the 35-year-old has suffered a knee ligament injury and if that is confirmed Hyypia would almost certainly be ruled out of Liverpool’s forthcoming matches against Fulham in the Premier League and Chelsea in the Champions League.

Benitez was already set for a row with Benayoun after he picked up a calf problem having defied his club’s wishes and reported for international duty with Israel. He limped off after 77 minutes of their draw with Greece on Saturday, suffering from an injury unrelated to the hamstring strain that had kept him out of the Liverpool picture for a fortnight but remains sure about his decision.

I’m one million percent certain I should have played

When you consider that Mascherano won’t return from Argentina’s game with Bolivia in La Paz until 24 hours before the game at the Cottage after a 14-hour flight and the fact that Steven Gerrard will have to appear at a pre-trial hearing for his affray charge on Friday, Benitez has a few selection headaches.