I'm starting to think Riise's gone down a lot in Rafa's estimation. If he chooses not to play him when Finnan's still recovering from a knock, is there much hope for him?
I think it is hard to judge that sort of thing after an international break. If you look at the starting 11 today, then none of them have played 2 times 90 minutes in the international games. Most of them have played much less than that. Riise is the only one who have done so, as far as i know. Gerrard, Babel and Torres did not play 2 times 90 minutes, but close to. They are on the bench. Do not know about Kuyt an Mascherano though.
The thing that Rafa wanted Heinze was a much stronger sign in my opinion, because i think that Rafa prefer Aurelio over Riise. On the other hand, Rafa always speaks of players giving him "a lot of options" and Riise certainly is at very unique kind of defender i terms of going forward, so maybe that adds to Riises chances of staying.
By the way, what a bench today! Sure have some attacking options out there!