Ah, injuries, we meet again. One of the defining characteristics of Jürgen Klopp’s tenure as Liverpool manager — alongside hilarious press conferences and devastating attacking football — has been an inability to maintain a healthy squad. Particularly evident during the winter months, when fixtures come thick and fast, the trend has been apparent for the better part of the last two years, as the Reds have routinely climbed into the top tier of the injury league.
With the season opener against Watford looming large only a few days away, Klopp’s side is already suffering through fitness struggles. Shape of his life Daniel Sturridge hobbled off the pitch with yet another muscle injury after notching a delicious chip against Bayern Munich, and is a doubt for Monday; Nathaniel Clyne does not yet have a return date from his back and hamstring issues; and Adama Lallana is expected to miss up to three months with a thigh injury.
And now, subject of more intense than usual but still completely fanciful transfer rumours, Philippe Coutinho, looks set to miss out on the start of the Premier League season. A back issue flared up during training camp in Germany, and the Brazilian is receiving treatment at Melwood in place of regular training, but he looks unlikely to be match ready by Monday.
Losing perhaps its biggest difference maker is a big hit for a squad already diminished by injuries, but one would hope the front three of Roberto Fimino, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah, backed up by Emre Can, Georginio Wijnaldum and returning captain Jordan Henderson, who will make his first official appearance for the Reds since February, will be enough to overcome the challenge of Marco Silva’s Watford.
Fingers crossed! Just don’t pull something!