With Lucas Leiva set for a scan of his injured thigh today and, even in a best case scenario, not expected to face Tottenham on Tuesday, Liverpool already know they will be down a man entering a match they will need to win if they’re to close the gap on their top four rival. To call it a major blow for the Reds would be an understatement, as it has been Lucas’ re-introduction to the starting eleven that has helped to stabilise a floundering side.
Since then, his presence has solidified a previously a shaky backline while providing a foundation for Liverpool’s flair players, and even in the absence of Daniel Sturridge they’ve averaged better than two points per game, breathing life into top four hopes that had seemed dead. He hasn’t been the only important player in that turnaround, though. While Lucas has provided the foundation, Philippe Coutinho has provided much of the attacking inspiration. And he too is a doubt to face Spurs, as is Raheem Sterling.
"Phil Coutinho had a knock on his knee and Raheem had a knock on his foot," Rodgers told the media as he prepared Liverpool to face a Spurs side that remain out of reach four points ahead of them after Liverpool’s failures to capitalise on a very poor looking Everton side in the derby over the weekend. "We did have fresh players on the bench to bring on, but we’re hoping that they will both be fit for Tuesday."
Both would be big losses, but with Daniel Sturridge approaching full fitness and Lazar Markovic expected available, there are at least options for Sterling either on the wing or at striker. Adam Lallana is a doubt for Tuesday as well, though of the various injured attackers he appears most likely to be ready. Even if he is, though, if neither Coutinho nor Sterling is available it’s possible Rodgers will be forced to change formations to work around his diminishing options in attack.