Liverpool is facing a terrible personnel crisis when up to 9 players are unable to play due to injury and Covid-19 infection. So, how does coach Juergen Klopp have to arrange the team for the match against Leicester next November 22?
9 players of Liverpool are absent
Currently, up to 9 players of Liverpool are unable to play including Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Thiago Alcantara, Fabinho, and Mohamed Salah.
Midfielder Van Dijk suffered a knee injury after goalkeeper Jordan Pickford’s drastic ball in the Merseyside derby match. He has had a successful surgery, but it is likely that it will not be until May 2021 that he can return.
Van Dijk’s partner Gomez also suffered a knee injury and could not join England in the international series. The Liverpool club announced that the midfielder had successfully operated a knee injury. However, it is expected that he will have to spend most of this season to recover.
Right-back Alexander-Arnold had a calf problem in the 1-1 draw between Liverpool and Man City. Coach Klopp said the player’s injury was quite heavy. It will take a month for the 22-year-old player to return to the field.
Left-back Andy Robertson admitted that he had a cramp and a tendon tension in the match between Scotland and Serbia in the playoff series to win tickets to the Euro 2020 finals. His injury is not serious but it is unknown when the Scotland captain will be able to play again.
Midfielder Fabinho, who can fill the center-back position, suffered a hamstring injury against Midtjylland in the Champions League group stage 2020/21. The Brazilian’s ability to play is still unknown.
Midfielder Thiago Alcantara suffered a knee injury after Richarlison’s drastic ball situation in the Merseyside derby. The former Bayern Munich star may return next weekend but cannot fully guarantee his fitness.
Midfielder Oxlade Chamberlain recently suffered a serious knee injury in August 2020. The former Arsenal player has not yet made a date to return.
A few days ago, the Egyptian Football Federation said Mohamed Salah had tested positive for Covid-19 but did not have any symptoms after the November 13 medical examination. The player will have to undergo 10-day quarantine as prescribed and can only return at the end of November.
Most recently, The Kop received more bad news when captain Jordan Henderson joined the team’s injury list. The midfielder had to leave the field immediately after the first half in England’s 0-2 defeat to Belgium on November 15. The possibility of his return is still unknown.
Which team formation can Klopp use?
In the face of a serious shortage of players, coach Klopp will likely have to launch many young players and reserve in the match against Leicester this weekend.
In defense, Joel Matip is the only midfielder remaining. According to W88.com – the most famous football bookie in Asia, Matip also suffered a muscle injury earlier in the season but was able to return in the match against Man City on November 8. Joining him will be Nat Phillips, who excelled in the 2-1 win over West Ham.
Liverpool’s 19-year-old striker, Neco Williams, will play at right-back while the summer signing Kostas Tsimikas has his Premier League debut on the opposite flank. Midfield will likely include Georginio Wijnaldum, Naby Keita, and Milner. Although this team formation does not bring much creativity, it seems to be strong enough to shield the defense of Liverpool.
The trio on the attack can be Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Diogo Jota. This is the route that Klopp can be most assured of in the Liverpool team at the moment. Mane returned after being infected with Covid-19, Firmino has just scored for Brazil while Jota is still maintaining an impressive form.
Liverpool will not participate in the upcoming winter transfer window
The constant injury situation has resulted in coach Klopp having to use up to 6 different pairs of center-backs in just the last 8 matches of The Kop in the Premier League this season. Despite the fact that the squad is being eroded for various reasons, Liverpool will almost not participate in the upcoming winter transfer window.
According to The Athletic, coach Jurgen Klopp will believe in using young players to patch those who are absent due to injuries. In defense, Liverpool has duo Phillips and Williams. In midfield, The Kop has young talent Curtis Jones or 19-year-old Jake Cain while the attack of the Anfield team still has quality reserve players such as Minamino, Shaqiri, or Origi.
Currently, Liverpool’s players who have been called up to the national teams have not yet returned, except for the injured, because the international series has not yet ended. These players are expected to return to The Kop after November 19.