Liverpool didn’t exactly explode out of the blocks in their Premier League opener. Owen Thomas from the Kop On! Podcast put it best for me, saying: “Instead of bursting out of the stalls like wild, hungry stallions, they trotted out like daydreaming Shetland ponies.
Along with the lackluster performance, there is the ever-growing injury list Jurgen Klopp’s men must contend with. If you have read anything regarding Liverpool this week, I’d wager it was conjecture regarding whether The Reds should wade back into the transfer market. That is not likely to happen, so Liverpool will plow ahead with the cattle they have on the ranch already.
Crystal Palace at Liverpool FYIs
Kick-off: Monday, Aug 15, 8 pm local, Anfield
LFC Starting XI Prediction: go here
Google Result Probability: Liverpool victory 81% Draw 13% Crystal Palace victory 6%
Watch: USA Network
In order to get through all of this in a timely fashion, we are going to break the unavailable players up into two groups. The first team regulars who are likely to be unavailable, and the players on the fringes who are struggling to be fit for this clash. Here we go.
FIRST TEAM REGULARS
There is an injury crisis at Liverpool, and I don’t think it is fair to say it is players on the fringes of the squad. Diogo Jota is out with a hamstring injury. We have rarely sighted him since pre-season began for The Reds. Rumor has it he will return to training following this match. I expect him to be on the bench against Manchester United.
Ibrahima Konate will miss this fixture too. We know not a lot about the Frenchman’s knee injury, but when pressed, Klopp said he would be out “for a while.” His fellow center-back, Joël Matip, is out with a groin injury and is considered a major doubt for this weekend.
It is not just first-team regulars who are out through injury. Many players who regularly get minutes from the bench or are on the fringes of the squad are unavailable too. Alex Oxlade Chamberlain is out with injury again. The England midfield has spent more time in the treatment room than on the pitch for Liverpool. This time, it is a hamstring injury. Liverpool has listed his return date as unknown.
Kostas Tsimikas is back in training, along with Naby Keita. The Greek had been out with a serious knock to his knee.
The Guinea star has been ill. Both should make the bench this weekend.
Curtis Jones is nursing a calf injury. The Liverpool-born midfielder is unlikely to be available for selection until toward the end of this month.
Finally, we have backup goalie Caoimhin Kelleher. He is on the comeback trail, but this match will come too soon for him. United in a week’s time seems like a more realistic date for his return.
Stueys Two Cents
Liverpool has nine players unavailable for this match. Nine!… Combine that with how undercooked they looked versus Fulham on day one and opportunity beckons for the South London club. Patrick Vieira’s men might not have a better chance to secure three points in Anfield for quite some time.
Stuart Kavanagh is a journalist currently residing in Broken Hill, Australia. He writes for the Barrier Truth newspaper, along with being the owner of the sports and entertainment website thepyrrhic.com, He also co-hosts the ‘After Extra Time’ podcast and contributes at edgeofthecrowd.com when time permits.
Football mad, he is always down for debate and discussion at @stueyissickofit on Twitter.