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Fernando Torres out of Liverpool trip to Turkey

Liverpool head into their crucial Champions League contest with Besiktas without top scorer Fernando Torres who has been forced to withdraw from the squad.

Torres was expected to recover from the thigh injury which ruled him out of Saturday's Merseyside derby, but tomorrow night's match has come too soon for the Spaniard.

Fernando Torres
Staying home: Torres has not flown out to Turkey

Liverpool know that defeat in Istanbul will make qualifying for the knockout stages an uphill task after only picking up one point from their opening two encounters in Group A.

Their opponents are bottom of the group after losing their two matches, but Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano has stressed the importance of getting their European venture back on track.

"From now on every game is a final at least in the group stages," Mascherano said.

"We have to get three points, we have no other option. With the defeat to Marseille we've made things difficult for ourselves, but a win on Wednesday would go a long way to putting our destiny back in our own hands.

"We'll certainly be going into the game with a lot of desire and a lot of will to win."

Xabi Alonso could return in midfield for Rafa Benitez's side after recovering from a metatarsal problem which has kept him sidelined since mid-September.

The Spanish midfielder has echoed Mascherano's sentiments in their need to collect three points in Turkey and ranked it as more important than their win over Everton at the weekend.

"It's absolutely a must-win game. It is massive because if we are to recover and get in the top two of the group, we have to win this match," Alonso said.

"It's very important, probably even more important than the three points on Saturday."

Provisional squad: Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Riise, Benayoun, Gerrard, Mascherano, Sissoko, Alonso, Pennant, Crouch, Voronin, Kuyt, Babel, Lucas, Hobbs, Itandje.

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