This could have been a truly beautiful thing, Stupid international break, and stupid injuries ruining everything...
Still, this is a damn strong side with a heck of a lot of depth. The return of Adam Lallana from injury gives the attack a lot of reinforcement, even with the loss of Daniel Sturridge for a few weeks with his own injury (thanks for nothing, Hodgson). The addition of Mario Balotelli couldn't be more valuable at a time like this, especially if his time with the club so far helps him round in to form soon.
Sturridge isn't Liverpool's only injury; Emre Can was hurt on international duty and will be out at least six weeks, and none of Joe Allen, Glen Johnson, or Martin Skrtel will be available this weekend. These injuries will test Liverpool's depth, but this type of situation is exactly why Liverpool did so much business this summer to reinforce the squad, especially with such a busy period coming up.
In the next three weeks, Liverpool have three league matches, a League Cup match, and two Champions League matches. That's a whole lot of action in a short amount of time, and we're sure to see a fair amount of Liverpoll's depth run through the lineup, especially against Middlesbrough in the League Cup and Ludogorets in the Champions League.
It's going to be a chaotic run and a stern test for Liverpool. It's going to be interesting to see how they cope with the pressure.
Special thanks to Jake for helping sort out the usage of youth players this month. Stupid injuries mucking everything up...
|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||Glen Johnson||Steven Gerrard||Raheem Sterling||Daniel Sturridge|
|Brad Jones||Mamadou Sakho||Alberto Moreno||Jordan Henderson||Adam Lallana||Mario Balotelli|
|Danny Ward||Dejan Lovren||Jose Enrique||Joe Allen||Philippe Coutinho||Rickie Lambert|
|Lawrence Vigouroux||Kolo Toure||Jon Flanagan||Lucas Leiva||Lazar Markovich||Fabio Borini|
|Lloyd Jones||Javier Manquillo||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)||Marc Pelosi||Jordan Lussey||Jerome Sinclair|
|Tiago Ilori (L)||Connor Randall||Sheyi Ojo||Joao Teixeira (L)|
|Andre Wisdom (L)||Andre Wisdom (L)||Jack Dunn||Jordon Ibe (L)|
|Rafa Paez (L)||Brad Smith (L)||Joao Teixeira (L)||Luis Alberto (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.