Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has voiced his discontent at the number of International matches after both Fernando Torres and Ryan Babel returned to Anfield after International Duty with Spain and Holland injured.
Spanish International Torres had to withdraw after only 16 minutes of Spain’s 2-1 win against Belgium, with a reoccurrence of the hamstring the striker suffered against Aston Villa earlier in the season. Babel suffered an ankle injury playing for the Dutch against Norway in their World Cup qualifier.
Benitez has confirmed that Torres will be out for at least ten days, with the forward set to miss the Premier League clashes with Chelsea and Wigan Athletic along with the Champions League tie against former club Atletico Madrid.
“I am very disappointed about this because it now looks like we will lose Fernando for three very important games,” Benitez told the club's official website.
“We have Wigan at home and Chelsea away in the league and Atletico Madrid away in the Champions League, so to lose any players is a big blow.
“The initial reports say Fernando is likely to be out for around 10 days and that would mean he would miss these games.
“It is important that we show our strength at times like this.
“We cannot do anything about the injuries so it is up to the players to come in and do a good job if they are needed.”
Former Valencia coach has now called for a change in the way the qualifiers for the World Cup and European Championships are played, with the Reds manager claiming that with so many International games the demands on the players are too much.
“There are too many international games and the demands on the players are too much,” Benitez added.
“Someone needs to analyse this situation because it is putting the players at risk of injury.
“Maybe the answer is for there to be a two-tier qualifying system because there are too many games in the qualifiers for the World Cup and the European Championships which are not competitive but which still place great demands on the players.
“These fixtures are unnecessary and maybe it would be better if the weaker countries played one another and the best of them went to play the stronger countries in the qualifiers.
“It is important that we show our strength at times like this. We cannot do anything about the injuries so it is up to the players to come in and do a good job if they are needed.”