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Three winners and three losers: Liverpool's international break

A seemingly never-ending international break is finally over and Liverpool’s first-team players are returning to club action.

Just before we do, lets take a look at the players who enjoyed a strong international break, and those who did not get what they wanted out of it…

Winners

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Georginio Wijnaldum: The international break began with a huge showcase of faith in Wijnaldum’s importance to his national team after he was handed the captaincy in the absence of Virgil van Dijk.

Wijnaldum celebrated by scoring twice for the Netherlands during a 3-1 Nations League victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina on Sunday.

Having bagged a brace three days prior, Wijnaldum then came up with the winner this time around to give his country an all-important 2-1 win in Poland.

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The 30-year-old, who retained the captaincy and completed the 90 minutes, sealed a late comeback by flicking in a near-post header from a right-wing corner.

 

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Harry Wilson: Wilson, meanwhile, opened the scoring for Wales in a pulsating encounter to help his national side register a 3-1 Nations League victory against Finland at the Cardiff City Stadium.

The Liverpool attacker, who is spending the 2020/21 campagin on loan at Cardiff, broke into the box and recieved a pass from Wales captain Gareth Bale before he clinically sent a finish underneath the goalkeeper.

Moments before it was Wilson who was at the heart of the most significant moment of the match after the 23-year-old was through on goal only to be brought down by Finland defender Jere Uronen, who subsequently was sent off.

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Kostas Tsimikas: Liverpool’s summer signing enjoyed some much-needed game time while away on national team duty with his native Greece.

The 24-year-old left-back started in all three international matches during the two-week break from club football including an all-important 2-0 victory against Moldova in the Nations League.

Last night, he had to settle for a point as he was involved for 90 minutes during Greece’s goalless stalemate at home to Slovenia.

Losers

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Joe Gomez: Joe Gomez prior to the international break had been Liverpool’s most consistent and durable centre-back. He had stepped up immeasurably in the absence of Virgil van Dijk, taking up the role as the club’s chief organiser and defensive lynchpin.

However, just days into linking up with the England national side, Gomez became Jurgen Klopp’s latest defensive casualty after he suffered a long-term knee injury in training which subsequently required surgery.

He is expected to join his defensive counterpart Van Dijk, who also suffered a knee injury, on the sidelines for the majority of the season.

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Jordan Henderson: If there was one sight Liverpool and Klopp could ill-afford to see during the break was another casualty to compound to an injury list that already includes Van Dijk, Gomez, Thiago Alcantara, Fabinho, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

These fears threatened to come to fruition again during England’s clash with Belgium on Sunday after club-captain Jordan Henderson was forced off at half-time following complaints of a back-problem.

Luckily, it isn’t expected to be too serious and Henderson could still be in contention to feature against Leicester. His 45 minute cameo against Belgium proved to be his only involvement for his country during the break.

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Andy Robertson: Having helped inspire his national team to Euro 2021 following the penalty shootout victory against Serbia, Andy Robertson was back in action for Scotland last night and was included in Steve Clarke’s starting XI as skipper despite sustaining a hamstring problem only a few days prior.

He featured for the entirety of the 90 minutes as Scotland suffered back-to-back Nations League defeats to Slovakia and Israel missing out on a guaranteed play-off match for the 2022 World Cup.

Hopefully, Robertson returns to Merseyside injury-free ahead of the Leicester City clash on Sunday.

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