LONDON, Nov 11 (Reuters) Israel captain Yossi Benayoun will be out for three weeks with a torn muscle, ruling him out of his country's Euro 2008 qualifier with Russia on November 17, Liverpool said today.
The midfielder's injury comes as another blow for England fans, with Russia sure to qualify for next year's finals in Austria and Switzerland if they beat Israel and Andorra in their remaining two matches.
England play group E leaders Croatia in their final qualifier at Wembley on November 21. Croatia top the group on 26 points and have two matches to play while England have 23 points and Russia 21.
''A scan has confirmed Benayoun sustained a tear against Fulham,'' said a Liverpool spokesman on the Premier League club's Web site (www.liverpoolfc.tv).
Benayoun, one of only two players in the Israel squad to play in the Premier League, scored a hat-trick for Liverpool in their record 8-0 Champions League thrashing of Besiktas at Anfield last Tuesday.
Liverpool beat Fulham 2-0 in the Premier League yesterday.
REUTERS AB YA HT2112