Carragher fighting to be fit for fourth-place battle

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The Independent Football

Liverpool are facing the prospect of having Jamie Carragher missing for their increasingly significant Premier League match against Manchester City a week on Sunday, having lost him to a groin strain during the 1-0 defeat at Arsenal on Wednesday night.

Carragher has the benefit of a free weekend for Liverpool to help him recover but the prognosis is that he may be missing for seven to 10 days and that puts his part in the afternoon fixture at Eastlands in some jeopardy. Liverpool, who are ahead of fifth-placed City on goal difference can ill do without a player who, after a shaky start, has emerged as one of the pillars of a revival which was jolted by the defeat in north London.

Rafael Benitez's side will also be without the suspended Sotirios Kyrgiakos against City so Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger would need to be brought together in central defence. Stephen Darby could be brought in at full back if Carragher is not fit, with Glen Johnson still absent.

Steven Gerrard could not contain his fury at the referee Howard Webb's decision not to allow a late penalty at the Emirates after the ball seemed to hit Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas on the arm.

"It's a penalty. The ref told our wall in the first half 'if anyone raises his hands, I'm going to give a penalty'," Gerrard said. "But for some crazy reason he hasn't given the decision. He said to me he never saw it."

Replays suggested that the ball hit Fabregas fractionally outside the Arsenal box.