How Injury-Hit Liverpool Could Have To Line Up In Next Premier League Game
Liverpool are suffering a major injury crisis with numerous first-team players absent, meaning Jurgen Klopp will have to get seriously creative before Sunday's game with Leicester.
Virgil van Dijk's long-term ACL injury has been compounded by losing defenders Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold, while captain Jordan Henderson and fellow midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are also out.
Mohamed Salah has tested positive for coronavirus after attending a wedding, plus Andy Robertson missed Scotland's most recent game against Slovakia with hamstring trouble. Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho are also recovering from injuries and remain doubtful.
Frankly, all it'll take is for Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino to pick up knocks this week and Klopp will be reduced to playing himself in defence, Loris Karius up front and James Milner in about seven positions. (He can do it.)
OK, it isn't that desperate. Yet. But Liverpool will undoubtedly be fielding an unusual XI against in-form Leicester City, unless they get a series of miracle turnarounds on the fitness front.
Fans have been sharing their possible line-ups on Twitter and speculating that Klopp may have to change his system depending on the players he has available.
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If Fabinho is fit, the most popular back four is for the Brazil international alongside Joel Matip in defence, then 19-year-old academy product Neco Williams at right-back and summer signing Kostas Tsimikas making his Premier League debut on the other side.
The trio in attack will likely be Mane, Firmino and Diogo Jota. But the midfield is a tricky one to piece together - especially if a fit Fabinho is required in defence.
Georginio Wijnaldum, Naby Keita and Milner is an option. Or Klopp could be more attacking and use exciting teenager Curtis Jones, especially if Tsimikas isn't quite ready and Milner is required to cover at left-back.
Alternatively, if Fabinho is still out, Nathaniel Phillips may be making his second Premier League start in central defence or highly-rated 19-year-old Rhys Williams could come in. But it would make for a very inexperienced backline.
It's all a big LFC jigsaw, which Klopp will not have wanted to puzzle together as a pre-Christmas treat. At least Jamie Vardy is almost certainly eyeing the Reds' defence, without Van Dijk and Gomez, with some seasonal joy.
The below is a possible LFC starting XI (presuming Fabinho, Thiago and Robertson are all absent).
How do you see Liverpool lining up against Leicester? Let us know in the comments.
Featured image credit: PA Images
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