Senior Reds players were stunned when the Argentina midfielder apparently refused to play at Manchester City on Monday night.
The Barcelona target then trained on his own at Melwood the morning after the 3-0 trouncing.
Kop boss Roy Hodgson revealed last Thursday he planned to use Mascherano in the crunch match at City.
But he had to rip up his tactics on Monday afternoon when he discovered Mascherano was in no fit state to play.
A club source said told The Sun: "The manager was thinking of a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Lucas and Mascherano as the holding midfielders.
"But he had to have a complete rethink and go with a 4-4-2.
"The senior players at the club were seriously hacked off with Mascherano on Monday night and that was clear when he arrived back on Tuesday.
"There are players in that squad who are Liverpool through and through and they were fuming at what Mascherano did."