OK, this season has not been fun for Liverpool fans. A confluence of injuries, underperformance, and general chicanery has left this side a broken shell of what it was a year ago. Throw in a dash of tactical stubbornness from Brendan Rodgers, and things have been thoroughly unpleasant.
Daniel Sturridge and Mamadou Sakho are still hurt, but thankfully both are only expected to miss one more match*, that being this weekend's contest with Chelsea. While the pair could really, really come in handy for this one, Liverpool will have to limp along without them. Because, frankly, limping seems to be all they're capable of lately.
*As they're only out one more match, I included them back on the depth chart because holy crap this thing is depressing without them.
After this weekend, we get the ever-entertaining international break. And by "entertaining," I mean "stressful," because really no club football fan should find the international break all that much fun. Fortunately, Liverpool's schedule is about to get a smidge easier, as their next three matches to close out the month are at Crystal Palace and at home against Stoke City in the league, and at Ludogorets in the Champions League sandwiched between the two. While none of those are easy fixtures by any means, they're not Chelsea or Real Madrid or some of the other stress-inducing fixtures Liverpool have faced of late. Like Newcastle.
Oh. Right. Hm.
Still, though, with two massively important pieces like Sturridge and Sakho coming back, that should make life better for Liverpool, especially in the scoring and preventing goals departments. Which are kinda important in football. Hm. No wonder things haven't been so much fun. Hopefully those last three fixtures go well, and give Liverpool some much-needed momentum going in to what, at first glance, looks like a tricky run of matches in December, including their vital last Champions League group stage match. Fingers crossed that all's well that ends well.
|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||Javier Manquillo||Jordan Henderson||Adam Lallana||Mario Balotelli|
|Danny Ward||Mamadou Sakho||Glen Johnson||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.