Last season saw Liverpool end their 30-year wait for an English top-flight title. No other team even got close to Jurgen Klopp’s outfit as they ran away with the league. The Merseysider’s looked formidable.
Maybe due to the strange circumstances of this season, Liverpool have not looked like the same team. That uncertainty showed in an incredible 7-2 hammering at Aston Villa. The defeat was a freak result, but the reigning champions may face a major challenge in the coming weeks and months.
A defensive crisis
Even before the possibly season-ending injury picked up by star centre-back Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool looked defensively vulnerable. Now not only are the Reds without the Dutchman, but Joe Gomez will also miss a chunk of the season. To make matters worse, full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson are also fitness doubts ahead of Saturday’s home game against Leicester.
Brazilian midfielder Fabinho, who has been filling in at centre-back is now also sidelined through injury. The injuries leave the Reds with just one senior centre-back in the shape of Joel Matip. The Cameroon international has only just returned from injury himself and is injury-prone.
Youngsters Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams have featured for Klopp’s team in games this season. Neither have disgraced themselves and could come into the starting line-up. However, they could be coming into a completely different back four.
Problems elsewhere for the Reds
Liverpool do not only have some potential absentees in defence, they have them elsewhere. Spanish playmaker Thiago is sidelined through injury, while star forward Mohamed Salah recently tested positive for COVID-19 while on international duty. The forward has been self-isolating since the positive test on Friday.
However, reports suggest that he could return to Merseyside on Thursday if he tests negative in another test. Even if Thursday’s test comes back negative, Premier League protocols mean that the 28-year-old will miss this weekend’s clash with Leicester.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is also a fitness doubt for the reigning English champions clash with the Foxes. However, his ‘injury’ may just be a case of putting club before country by not featuring for England in a now dead-rubber against Iceland in the Nations League on Wednesday.
Despite a 63-game unbeaten home run in the Premier League, all these issues add up to a massive selection headache for Jurgen Klopp ahead of a game that could be a big test of Liverpool.
Leicester could threaten that long unbeaten record
Liverpool could have done with a nice comfortable home match this weekend with all their problems. The Reds still have quality in their ranks, but any team would miss the players that could be sidelined this weekend.
Leicester looks a big threat to that long unbeaten record at Anfield in the Premier League. Brendan Rodgers will return to his old club having guided the Midlands outfit to the top of the table. They are just a point better off than third-place Liverpool though. This game looks a test of their title credentials, even if Liverpool are so heavily depleted.
It would send a major statement for Leicester to end the Reds long unbeaten run. In a season that keeps surprising us. Would it be a major surprise for Leicester to win at Liverpool?[geosnippet id=3620]
Do you fancy Backing Leicester to record a victory at Anfield this weekend? Well, why not visit our betting page for the bookmakers we recommend for your bet. Also, look out for our full match preview later this week, which will be found on our soccer predictions page.
Can Liverpool continue their recent decent form with such a potentially depleted team?