Fabinho’s hamstring injury means he won’t play for Liverpool for the next month, but thankfully, two of those weeks are an international break which means he might only miss three matches: West Ham in the Premier League, Atalanta in the Champions League – and then the big one against Manchester City.
Liverpool were favourites for the Premier League, but the season-ending injury to Virgil van Dijk has seen Pep Guardiola’s City leapfrog us with the Bookies, despite his side’s horrible start to the domestic campaign in which they lie 13th. If you fancy the Reds to overcome the odds, check out these free bets and back Jurgen Klopp’s mens to make it back to back titles.
This weekend though it’s David Moyes’ in-form Irons, who took points off City last weekend, of course. We’ll be without van Dijk, Fabinho and probably Joel Matip for the trip south, which means Rhys Williams is likely to get a first Premier League start – just months after being on loan in the Conference with Kidderminster Harriers.
David Maddock of the Mirror has explained that despite Fabinho’s absence, Liverpool fans should actually be grateful his hamstring issue isn’t a properly serious one.
“The versatile Brazil international underwent a scan on Wednesday morning after limping out of the Champions League game against Midtjylland with what appeared a serious hamstring injury,” he writes.
“A grade-three tear would rule the midfielder out for up to six months and be a hammer blow for Klopp who is already without Virgil van Dijk.
“But scans show it is not as serious, and only a grade one or two, which means he could well be back straight after the upcoming international break.”
Klopp would prefer to use Matip alongside Joe Gomez in centra defence in the upcoming weeks, but the Cameroonian is horribly injury prone and seems to pick up muscular issues every time he takes the field.
As a player, we love him, but his availability is appalling.
“I don’t know, we have to see,” the boss told the official website when asked about who he would field at the back at the London Stadium.
“Look, if it would be only one game we play, if it was the last game of the season, I think we could make probably one or the other fit for one game – but we play three days later again and we need players again.
“The players who are now injured, we cannot use them on the first day of being fit again – or not injured anymore. They need a proper build-up for the rest of the season and that’s what we try.
“It is this juggle all the time between the fit players – how much can they play still? – and when we can use the others again?
“We are really interested in that fact so you can imagine we try everything to make everybody fit as quickly as possible.”
We can actually see a situation where Jordan Henderson plays next to Gomez at the back, providing Thiago is back and can anchor the midfield.
If the world-class Spaniard recovers from his knee-injury soon, and he is back in full training, then Hendo can drop back to help the defence and Thiago can orchestrate proceedings in the middle.
The likes of Gini Wijnaldum and James Milner can help him either side, while we wait for Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to become available again.
It’s been a nightmare start to the season injury wise, but we’re still two wins from two in the Champions League and joint top of the Premier League.