Defensive duo Dejan Lovren and Alberto Moreno are both one booking away from a one-match ban in the Europa League (via Echo).
Both players have picked up two yellow cards in the competition so far. Lovren was booked away to Rubin Kazan in the group stage and then again during last week’s home leg against Man Utd. Moreno was booked at home to Sion in the groups and away to Augsburg in the last 32.
While we could cover Lovren’s absence with Kolo Toure and the soon-to-return Martin Skrtel, a ban for Moreno would be more problematic. Jon Flanagan was (bizarrely) not included in our Europa League squad, meaning either the inexperienced Brad Smith or utility man James Milner would be forced to play there.
Fans on some forums have called for the players to be deliberately booked towards the end of the game if we are clearly going through – just like Rafa told Dirk Kuyt to get booked against PSV back in 2007.
We understand the sentiment, but we think it’s a touch rash, let’s make sure we get the win and see who we get in the next round first. They could always get deliberately booked near the end of the quarter-final first leg instead if it is against one of the weaker remaining sides. If we end up being drawn against someone like Dortmund, we’ll want all hands on deck.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.