As Liverpool prepare to take on West Ham at Anfield, its injuries that are the main talking point.
Liverpool find themselves without captain Steven Gerrard for the game and several others, following injury on England duty, an injury that was confirmed as a “significant” grade two hamstring tear by Dr Peter Brukner when the player returned to Melwood for assessment. Aside from the enigmatic talisman the Reds also find themselves without Joe Cole (Hamstring), Daniel Agger (calf), Jay Spearing (ankle) and Lucas Leiva who sits out on a one game suspension following his red card at Stoke.
Jay Spearing was the latest to join the injured party after a training accident on Friday in a 5aside saw him crack a bone just below his fibia, leaving him looking at a spell of around 6 weeks on the sidelines.
Liverpool do welcome back to the ranks Fabio Aurelio, Dirk Kuyt, Fernando Torres and Martin Skrtel as they go in search of three points following a defeat and draw away from home in the Premier League in the last two games.
While the FA confirm that Liverpool are set to receive an estimated £500,000.00 from their insurers following the injury sustained by Gerrard in the defeat against France, Roy Hodgson was keen to keep his visible disappointment to a minimum and let the matter pass.
“As Liverpool manager I am frustrated and disappointed to lose such an important player for such a long period of time,” he said.
The Christmas break and the opening of the next transfer window cannot come quick enough for the Reds, who strength in depth is soon exposed if the first eleven suffer an injury or two. Although it remains to be seen if NESV and John Henry will in fact focus their recruitment process on the summer and make little or no delving into the mid season opportunity, one that historically proven itself to be anything but the “January Sales” for many a club.
It’s not just Liverpool that have troubles on the injury front as West Ham see their squad affected by the loss of Da Costa (ankle), Haim (ankle), Noble (appendicitis) as well as the long term injuries to Edgar, Kurucz, Collison & Hitzlsperger. Scott Parker was the latest player looking set to be ruled out of the fixture, as a chest infection seems destined to derail his part in the game.
A point or more for West Ham will see them come off the bottom if Wolves see defeat but a win for Liverpool would keep them in touch with the pack chasing the top four.