A tough run of matches. A rough series of injuries. A brutal run of results. Yeah, this hasn't been a fun month to be a Liverpool fan.
And unfortunately, this next month might not be much better.
Daniel Sturridge, Joe Allen, and Mamadou Sakho are all out through at least the end of the international break, Emre Can remains out for awhile, and now Suso is going to be out for a couple of months. Liverpool's depth chart is looking terrifyingly thin right now, and Liverpool's heavy reliance on Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling is looking all the more frightening for it, as the depth at their positions is some of the worst in the squad as things stand.
While the match against West Brom this weekend should be more or less manageable with the break afterwards, the run right after the break is shaping up to be a doozy. Queens Park Rangers haven't been much of a pushover this season despite their low standing on the EPL table, and even with much of the squad rested from the international break, Brendan Rodgers will have some tough choices to make for his lineup. With a vital Champions League match against Real Madrid at Anfield at midweek and just two days' rest in between, balancing the squad will be tricky.
With another league match against Hull City on the 25th and a League Cup match against Swansea City on the 28th, that gives Liverpool four matches in just ten days with a potentially thin squad, two of them high pressure and none of them easy. If Liverpool's injury ward isn't ready to rock, this month could hurt, a lot. With an international break in there, the potential for more injuries and disaster along with them is too high. Hopefully you're all well stocked on antacids.
|Key: Starter (Bold), U21/Academy (Italics), Injured (Orange), Suspended (Blue), On Loan (L)|
|Goalkeepers||Central Defenders||Fullbacks||Central Mids||Attacking Mids||Strikers|
|Simon Mignolet||Martin Skrtel||Alberto Moreno||Steven Gerrard||Raheem Sterling||Daniel Sturridge|
|Brad Jones||Dejan Lovren||Glen Johnson||Jordan Henderson||Adam Lallana||Mario Balotelli|
|Danny Ward||Mamadou Sakho||Javier Manquillo||Joe Allen||Philippe Coutinho||Rickie Lambert|
|Lawrence Vigouroux||Kolo Toure||Jose Enrique||Lucas Leiva||Lazar Markovich||Fabio Borini|
|Lloyd Jones||Jon Flanagan||Emre Can||Suso||Lazar Markovich|
|Jordan Willians||Ryan McLaughlin||Adam Lallana||Fabio Borini||Jerome Sinclair|
||Kevin Stewart||Emre Can||Philippe Coutinho||Cameron Brannagan||Samed Yesil|
|Daniel Cleary||Kevin Stewart||Jordan Rossiter||Jack Dunn||
|Sebastian Coates (L)||Sam Hart||Jordan Lussey||Jerome Sinclair|
|Tiago Ilori (L)||Connor Randall||Sheyi Ojo||Harry Wilson|
|Andre Wisdom (L)||Marc Pelosi||Luis Alberto (L)||Sheyi Ojo|
|Rafa Paez (L)||Brad Smith (L)||Joao Teixeira (L)||Jordon Ibe (L)|
For new readers, or those of you who haven't seen 3XI in awhile, here's a quick refresher of how this works:
- This is a project that takes a regular look at the current state of Liverpool's depth chart, projecting starters and reserves at each position.
- The graphic shows each of the eleven positions on the field with a starter and two reserves (hence the name "3XI"). Each player is shown in their primary position in the given formation (generally selected based on recent formations used by Liverpool), so only appears once on the chart no matter where else on the pitch they may be involved in for depth purposes. Injured or suspended players are not included here, with exception of injuries believed to be very short-term in nature.
- The table below the chart is a more broad-strokes look at the depth. Each position group is more generalized, and we see players listed in each group they are involved in. This is also where injured, suspended, or on-loan players are listed for reference.
- Thanks as always go to Dave Clark of Sounder at Heart for coming up with the 3XI concept and format and allowing me to use and modify it for use at The Liverpool Offside.