Liverpool will surely use academy talents in midfield against Preston North End this week. The Reds have little choice.
Last season it was centre-backs, this time it’s centre-mids. Liverpool just can’t avoid an injury crisis somewhere, it seems.
They travelled to Old Trafford already light in the middle. Thiago is out injury with Harvey Elliott and Fabinho didn’t play after picking up a knock in Madrid last week.
Things then went from bad to worse. Both James Milner and Naby Keita went off injured during the game, leaving Liverpool with only three senior midfielders.
Jordan Henderson remains fit, as does Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Curtis Jones made his return from injury on Sunday, too.
But as there are only three fit midfielders, Liverpool surely won’t start them against Preston North End tomorrow. At least, they certainly won’t play all three.
Perhaps both Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jones begin the game. That feels like a needless risk but it’s possible. More likely is that only one gets a start.
As for the rest of midfield, it’ll surely be academy starlets.
Liverpool to turn to academy vs Preston
Both Tyler Morton and James Balagizi missed the game, too. That tells us that one may start in midfield against Preston, with the other an option from the bench.
Morton seems like the obvious bet. He played a holding role in the second half against Norwich City in the previous round. Perhaps he could play it from the start at Deepdale.
But maybe both start the game. It would make some sense, putting them in there with Oxlade-Chamberlain against a Championship side and seeing what they can do.
It’s certainly the best way to keep Liverpool’s remaining midfielders fit. though,, that might be a bit too risky depending on selections in other areas.
Regardless, we can expect to see some academy talents play in midfield tomorrow. Liverpool’s injury situation simply makes it the obvious thing to do.