Besiktas may be busy hoping their two best players are fit to face Liverpool, but Liverpool are heading into the second leg of their Europa League round of 32 tie with a lengthy injury list of their own. Midfielders Lucas Leiva and Steven Gerrard will be missing of course, but with the pair having sat out the first leg due to their injuries and few expecting them to be ready for the second, that’s hardly news.
What is is that Brendan Rodgers will be short two more midfielders on Thursday evening, as Jordan Henderson has been left off the traveling squad with an ankle injury and Philippe Coutinho, clearly suffering from fatigue in recent weeks, also left in Liverpool with an eye to an important league match against Manchester City on the weekend. Defender Mamadou Sakho will also miss the match on Thursday due to a hip injury, as will Glen Johnson through illness.
The lengthy list of injured players meant a number of Academy youngsters had to be called up to train with the seniors before they left for Turkey, and it also means that Martin Skrtel will captain Liverpool when they head out onto the pitch at Ataturk Stadium. Around Skrtel, though, there seem to be nothing but question marks, and all of the injuries may mean Rodgers is be forced to move Emre Can into midfield alongside Joe Allen.
More positively for Liverpool, Henderson and Coutinho are both expected to be fit to face City on Sunday, while Gerrard and Sakho are hopeful of at least being fit enough to make the bench for that match.