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Reds Column I

Premier League 2020-21 Preview: Liverpool vs Leicester City

After an eventful November International Break 2020, Liverpool Fc are due to play their Premier League Home Fixture against current Table-toppers Leicester City Fc.

Date: 22 October 2020 (Sunday) ; Time: 7:15 p.m (BST) kick-off ; Venue: Anfield, England.

Liverpool Fc (The Reds) are currently facing an unprecedented injury crisis that poses inconceivable selection problems for Jürgen Klopp thereby forcing him to pick from a threadbare squad and dig deep in search of internal solutions.

Klopp lamented about the inevitable injuries of the players due to Fixture congestion and insufficient recovery time for the Players between Matches. The Charismatic Coach will rightly feel aggrieved with the mounting injuries especially to key players. Klopp even found support from prominent coaches like Pep Guardiola to bring back the 5 Substitutions Per Game Rule for the latter part of the ongoing Premier League Season.

The injury situation further exacerbated especially at the Centre Back positions as Joël Matip remains as the only fit Senior Centre Back. As such, Klopp might look into bringing back Nathaniel Phillips to partner alongside with Matip.

For Leicester City Fc (The Foxes) though, there wouldn’t be a better time to face a severely depleted Reds side especially at Anfield. Brendan Rodgers himself will be salivating at the possibility of picking up a win over his former side.

Rodgers was the Reds Manager between June 2012 and October 2015 but was shown the Exit Door as Reds went through series of under par performances. After his successful stint with Celtic Fc, Rodgers became the Foxes Manager around February 2019 and his side has since then made massive strides.

The last time the two sides met at Anfield was when the Reds edged past the Foxes (2-1) thanks to a well taken Penalty by James Milner deep into the Injury Time (Premier League 2019-20 Season).

 

Reds Team Injuries and Suspensions: The lengthy list of injuries is never a pleasant sight for anyone connected with the Reds.

The Reds misfortune with injuries compounded during the November International Break 2020.

After being diagnosed twice with COVID-19, Mohamed Salah is now self-isolating until the Reds Medical Team gives him the all clear.

As a precaution, Rhys Williams was withdrawn from the England U21 Squad after complaining of a hip related issue.

Joe Gomez had undergone a successful surgery after sustaining a serious knee injury during his training with England National Football Team. However, the young defender won’t be able to play in the foreseeable future as he faces a lengthy rehabilitation.

Virgil Van Dijk continues to be sidelined after undergoing a successful surgery (more than a fortnight ago) on his knee injury which he sustained during the Everton game.

No timescale has been set for both Van Dijk and Gomez, but Klopp has to plan a Life without both of his trusted Defensive Lieutenants for the foreseeable future.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is facing a race against time to be fit again as he is currently recovering from his hamstring injury and Klopp will be hoping that the young Englishman will be able to play at least during the latter part of December 2020.

As for Andrew Roberstson, the Reds will be sweating on his fitness after being rested for Scotland’s match against the hosts Slovakia. The Scot sustained a slight hamstring issue prior to that match.

Captain Jordan Henderson returned back to Anfield earlier this week to be assessed further ahead of the Sunday Night Match. He was withdrawn as he felt a bit of tightness prior to the Second Half of England’s match against the hosts Belgium.

Like Van Djik, Thiago Alcântara also suffered his injury during the Everton Match and since then, was forced to miss out. Still, doubts remain on when the Spaniard will be able to return back to the side but everyone will be hoping for his speedy return.

Having yet to play this season; Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is slowing making his recovery strides and is currently on his rehabilitation as he picked up an injury in the training during the Preseason in Austria.

A small respite for the Reds and an welcome news is the imminent return of Fabinho as the Brazilian is in line to make his comeback to the squad after pulling his leg muscle during the FC Midtjylland match.

 

Verdict: Winning Back-to-Back Premier League Titles itself is a remarkable achievement. And if the Reds can clinch Back-to-Back Premier League Titles, this will be considered an even greater achievement as the Reds had to cope with the absence of key players like Van Dijk.

The Reds resilience and endurance will be severely put to test during the upcoming matches starting with the home fixture against the Foxes.

As always, the Club has found ways to rise above the adversities in the past; so the current Reds can seek inspiration from the past.

 

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