Liverpool are set to be without captain Jordan Henderson for Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash with Leicester.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has a host of injury issues to contend with in the build-up to the match and will also be sweating over the possibility of more players testing positive for coronavirus.
Klopp lost defender Joe Gomez to a serious knee injury while on England duty and Henderson has picked up a groin problem.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Fabinho are continuing their recoveries from a knee and hamstring injuries while Thiago continues to be affected by the leg issue he picked up in last month’s Merseyside derby.
It leaves Klopp with James Milner, Gini Wijnaldum, Naby Keita and Curtis Jones as his senior midfield options.
Following Mohamed Salah’s positive coronavirus test and subsequent quarantine, Klopp will likely start with Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.
Klopp’s biggest headache will come in defence with Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold on the sidelines.
Joel Matip’s fitness will have to be carefully managed while Andrew Robertson picked up a hamstring problem with Scotland but was able to play the full 90 minutes against Israel on Wednesday night.
Neco Williams is set to come in for Alexander-Arnold and Klopp faces a decision between Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams to be Matip’s defensive partner.
Meanwhile, former Liverpool striker Michael Owen is adamant his old club would have been favourites for the title without the injury crisis engulfing them.
He told talkSPORT: “Well I have no doubts if these players were fit then Liverpool are the best team in the land. I think they would win the Premier League.
“This has now thrown it up in the air a little bit. From a Premier League point of view, I still think they can get by in virtually every game.
“It’s when you get really tested because in some games, if you’re in a good team that are better than the rest, you can carry one or two players that aren’t quite at it.
“But it’s when you get into the quarter-finals of the Champions League, it’s when you play Manchester City at Anfield, things like that, then you can’t have any passengers in your team.
“Of course, Liverpool, the whole squad is very good. But you’ve just got one or two players in any team, I don’t care who you are, that you look to and carry you to certain situations.
“When you’re in the tunnel before the game you look in front of you and behind you and think, ‘right, we’ve got a chance because we’ve got him in our team’. Van Dijk in particular is one of them.
“He’s a huge miss, but hey, who’s to say he won’t be back for those big games at the end of the season?
“A cruciate ligament injury is sort of five to six months if everything goes perfectly. So you never know. It’s a huge blow.”
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