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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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Premier League: Liverpool vs Leicester City; injury crisis, what injury crisis?

With the return of club football comes the return of the Champions as Liverpool will be taking on Leicester City at Anfield on Sunday night. 

It is another massive game after the draw at Manchester City as Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester side have looked impressive just like they did last season until they crumbled under the pressure. 

But there won’t be any pressure on them on Sunday as they are at Anfield which will play into their hands, we all know Leicester like an underdog story. 

Liverpool have had lots of worries over the International break with injuries and there seemed to be an injury crisis happening when the players were away. 

Joe Gomez has suffered a long-term injury with England so he will be on the sidelines with Virgil Van Dijk for a long time which leaves The Reds short at centre back. 

Trent Alexander-Arnold is also out but he should not be injured for too long just like Jordan Henderson whilst Mo Salah has tested positive for Covid-19 when in Egypt. 

However, there was more players expected to be out, but Liverpool released some training pictures which delighted Liverpool supporters. 

Rhys Williams, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Fabinho, and Thiago Alcantara were all pictured at the new training complex in Kirkby. 

Williams and Fabinho will bring more depth in the the centre back region as well as Fabinho’s obvious quality and experience so it was important that the Brazilian returned from injury. 

It was great to see Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain finally back in training after his long-term injury, but it looks like we will have to wait a little while still to see him return to the pitch. 

And then Thiago, the man who everyone wants to see but the likelihood is if he is involved, he will only be on the bench. 

Everyone has been wondering what has happened to the Spanish magician and speaking to the club manager Jurgen Klopp said: “It’s a consequence of the injury it was a hit, it was a straight kick on his knee. So, it’s a consequence of the injury. 

“But it was always clear it will not be in two or three days. In the first few days we thought it would settle quickly. But it didn’t and that’s what we have to accept then.” 

Hopefully sooner rather than later Thiago will be back on the pitch playing so all the supporters can watch him play a five-yard pass and go wow he might be the best player in the world due to being in awe of him. 

Before the international break Liverpool played against Atalanta in the Champions League and put in a magnificent performance winning 5-0.  

In some ways it was similar to the Leicester City away performance from last season which sent a message to the rest of the league. The message was that no one can stop Liverpool. 

Whether we see another performance like that on Sunday is hard to tell but with Brendan Rodgers likely to try and play on the counter attack there will be few spaces for Liverpool to exploit. 

That means the midfield will have a big part to pay as they will have to look for the gaps.  

Naby Keita will need a big performance after scoring for Guinea on the international break as he can stake a claim for a first team spot just like he did in the Premier League restart last season. 

James Milner could have a role to play as well as he may be needed at right-back just like he was against Manchester City in the second half and with rumours circling Neco Williams has picked up a knock he may be nailed in to start, but if he doesn’t Gini Wijnaldum will captain the side for the first time. 

With Milner potentially at full-back Curtis Jones looks set to be given another start, the scouser has started a handful of games this season and has impressed. He is now regarded as a first team option and the pressure will be on him to perform in a massive game. 

Jamie Vardy will be licking his lips at potentially coming up against inexperienced Rhys Williams or Nathaniel Phillips but if Fabinho slots in next to Joel Matip the task will be that bit harder for Jamie Vardy. 

Vardy will need service though which is why the midfield will be key in not just creating chances but also in cutting Leicester City’s chances to a premium. 

It is vital, that is where the game could be won or lost. 

In his press conference Jurgen Klopp said: “My players don’t have to prove anything.” 

They might not but they will want to prove to themselves that they are the team to beat yet again whilst they defend their title. 

Written by Elliot Thompson

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