TalkSPORT host Jason Cundy insinuated that the title race would be a closer run event if Liverpool had not suffered from their horrible run with injuries.
Since Virgil van Dijk succumbed to a long-term injury in October, the Reds have lost Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Fabinho, Diogo Jota, Jordan Henderson, and many other key stars intermittently throughout their campaign.
“But, I firmly believe the reason Liverpool are where they are is because of their injuries. Who knows whether Man City would still be top of the table?” the 51-year-old told TalkSPORT. “From what we’re seeing from them right now, it’s hard to disagree with that [their position 15 points clear], but Liverpool would definitely be close if they had Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Diogo Jota fit all year.”
With Jurgen Klopp having to make do with 19 different centre-back partnerships this term, the idea that the club’s injury crisis hasn’t played a part in their league form is laughable.
The loss of our No.4, who alongside Alisson Becker completely changed the club’s fortunes, would have been difficult to come to terms with on its own, but the repeated battering received in the position of centre-half has left us in a lurch for much of the season.
The reality of our circumstances means that a title challenge is off the cards this term, though we’d expect the side to be back in contention once we’re back to full-strength.
Fabinho’s return offers a significant injection of stability to the squad, though we’d hope that Klopp will give Ozan Kabak and Nat Phillips a chance to form a partnership in the back four, in order to allow the Brazilian to return to his favoured midfield role.