How Liverpool could line-up against Leicester with Mohamed Salah and Joe Gomez absent
Liverpool’s injury crisis has taken another turn for the worse, after it was confirmed Mohamed Salah returned two positive tests for coronavirus. Jurgen Klopp had already been dealt a series of injury blows in recent days, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez, both set for spells on the sidelines.
Alexander-Arnold suffered a calf injury during the 1-1 draw with Manchester City on Sunday, a game that left Klopp bemoaning the hectic fixture schedule.
That kept him out of England duty, but his defensive colleague Gomez did report for international duty, only to suffer a serious injury of his own.
The 23-year-old went down during a training session ahead of the friendly with Republic of Ireland. He has since undergone surgery on his knee tendons, with the expectation being, he will miss a significant portion of the season.
And Salah’s positive Covid-19 test, as confirmed by the Egyptian FA, means he will be forced to self-isolate for 10 days, ruling him out of the top of the table clash with Leicester City.
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A win over the Foxes next weekend would see Liverpool go back to the Premier League summit, but Klopp is now facing a series of selection headaches.
Ahead of that game on November 22, Express Sport looks at how the Reds boss will look to overcome his ever increasing list of injuries.
Alisson has endured injury problems of his own this season and did have a coronavirus scare after one of his Brazil teammates tested positive.
He has since returned a negative test and all being well, he will be in the sticks for their Anfield return next Sunday.
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Astonishingly, Klopp has just one of his first-choice defenders available for the foreseeable. Virgil van Dijk and Gomez are both set to miss extended periods, while Alexander-Arnold’s prognosis has yet to be confirmed.
So along with the Scotland captain, there will be changes. One positive for Liverpool is that Fabinho is closing in on a return, he slotted in at centre-back well before suffering an injury and could join Joel Matip, who has also just returned from his own issues.
At right-back, Neco Williams has impressed in his limited opportunites, but should Liverpool go for experience, James Milner is a more than able deputy in that position.
Jordan Henderson’s problems, thankfully, appear behind him and he will be the anchor in midfield. Alongside him, Klopp actually has a few options, with Naby Keita, Georgino Wijnaldum and Thiago Alcantara competing for places.
Thiago has spent the international break getting back to 100% fitness and could finally make his first appearance for the club at Anfield.
In the draw against Man City, Wijnaldum was one of two midfielders started and despite Keita’s up-turn in form, he will likely get the nod.
After all the debate surrounding which of Klopp’s three attackers will play, Salah’s self-isolation means no key decision needs to be made.
Sadio Mane’s importance will be increased, while Diogo Jota continuing his hot start would be most welcome.
And a word for Roberto Firmino, Klopp has stood by the Brazilian, if he could rediscover his goalscoring touch, it will really help.
Liverpool predicted XI vs Leicester: Alisson; Robertson, Fabinho, Matip, Williams; Thiago, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Mane, Firmino, Jota.
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