Matthew Sinton takes a look at Liverpool’s injuries and congested fixture list.
As if any of us needed another reason to hate international breaks, Adam Lallana went off injured in England’s game against Spain on Tuesday night. In the part of the game he played, he was again excellent, creating the chance that led to the penalty and scoring it to put England 1-0 up. Jordan Henderson bagged himself another assist too, with an excellent cross that was well finished by Jamie Vardy. For a moment it looked like he could also have been injured. Now that would have caused nothing short of a meltdown among our fans.
Of course, I hope that Adam is somehow fit to play on Saturday afternoon against his former club, but I don’t think it will be a disaster if he isn’t available. He and Henderson have been the two guaranteed starters in our midfield three, with Emre Can and Georginio Wijnaldum battling it out for the third spot.
Both have proven to be more than capable of playing there when they have played, so why can’t both play? Perhaps Can could stay a bit further back just ahead of Henderson, allowing Gini to go a bit further forward than he has been doing so far. After all, he has always been primarily an attacking midfielder. With a scoring record close to one in two for PSV, he can be counted on to chip in with the goals. The fact that an injury to such a vital player causes almost no concern really shows how good our squad depth is at the moment.
On a completely different note, news came in today that our request to push back the kick off for our game away to Sunderland on January 2nd was rejected, meaning the festive schedule will be more hectic than ever.
We now face two games in 45 hours. Manchester City also do, but after they face us at Anfield they travel back to Manchester to host Burnley. Our problem is made even worse as we need to travel away to Sunderland, which will leave almost no time for training between matches. How can you prepare a team in this amount of time? We may see a lot of changes in the starting lineup for the Sunderland game, so we are quite fortunate that it’s Sunderland after City and not the other way around (no offence, Sunderland).
It’s a little while until then, though – we still have lots of important league games before the new year. Let’s focus on that for now and hope we’re in a good position when the game against Manchester City comes around.