There’s trouble in paradise for the Reds this week. Liverpool’s defence have had injury after injury and they’re at the point of literally not having a single candidate truly suitable to play right back. The Anfield Talk’s Dale (@_evocatio) takes a look at the situation.
It’s a bit of a mare to say the least. Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gomez and Fabinho are all injured and Milner unfortunately landed himself a red card and now Clyne’s living his best life by the seaside.
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With this dilemma where does this leave Liverpool? Timescale wise, this isn’t a problem for long. Milner will be back in a week, it’s looking promising that Oxlade-Chamberlain will be making a welcome return soon too, taking pressure off the midfield. Until then, what options are available for the Leicester match?
There’s two choices for who’s taking one for the team. It’s either Henderson or Camacho. Neither are necessarily ideal candidates but if there’s a choice in the matter then Camacho is the preferable option. The youngster kept a cool head in the FA Cup match against Wolves and clearly he’s impressed the boss as well as the fans.
Camacho is one of the youngest players in history to grace Liverpool’s first team, having been at the Liverpool Academy since the 2015/16 season. He’s proven to be a valuable asset to the U23’s team in midfield but under Van Dijk and Robertson’s mindful gaze he will no doubt be of use for the first team too.
Whilst Henderson is an option for this occasion, he’s not a viable option. With the knowledge that Wijnaldum and Fabinho will likely both be missing from the midfield as well for this match, Liverpool will have to spread themselves thin. The midfield may very well see a rare start for Shaqiri and even Lallana alongside Henderson and Naby Keita.
The situation would be massively changed by if even just one of the unavailable players were to be deemed able to play. Moods are mixed amongst fans, some are glad for the team to still be ahead whilst others are wondering how Liverpool could have conceded three goals to a mid-level club at home last week.
The difference of only four points between Liverpool and Manchester City at the top of the leaderboard appears to be putting a strain on the club. On the upside, spending over £130m on defence does guarantee some level of safety net. Van Dijk and Alisson will still be marking the backline next Wednesday, but will they be enough to keep Jamie Vardy and co. at arm’s length?
Looking to the future, the rocky road may getting a little smoother. Joe Gomez is set to return next month after a broken leg sustained in December playing against Burnley. Milner will return in a few days too. Fans are naturally worried about who could replace Clyne as a stand in for days like this now he’s out on loan at Bournemouth but all dependent on this upcoming Leicester game, Camacho may very well be the man for the job.