Injuries have been an unhappy theme to Liverpool’s season and an issue that has somewhat hampered the club’s progress at times.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were in superb form during the opening months of the campaign and showed signs to suggest they were ready and equipped to mount not only a top four challenge but also a serious title challenge.
Recurring injury setbacks since the turn of the year have seen team’s shape disrupted and Klopp fall short of alternative options.
The German has discussed the matter, going as far to suggest that fitness problems cost his side the chance to maintain a challenge at the top of the Premier League table.
“I think we all agree that if we could have played our first 12 or 13 for the whole season…. we are only six, seven, eight points away from the very interesting region of the table,” he told the Liverpool Echo.
“It’s not unlikely that it could have worked, but it’s not important now because we don’t know for sure. It’s not allowed to look back. We have to find a line-up solution for the next game.”
There is little point on dwelling on the idea of what could have been. Any injuries, any untimely absences only made the club more aware of the need to recruit strongly in this summer’s transfer window. These setbacks have the potential to fuel this club’s progression and an even stronger 2017/18 season.
Sunday’s game against Crystal Palace promises to be another exhibition of Klopp’s tactical expertise as he is forced to conjure an alternative setup following news that Joel Matip, Lucas Leiva and Ragnar Klavan are all major doubts- adding to the already sidelined Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane.
We are positive another title shot isn’t too far away.