Which players are likely to be unavailable when Liverpool take on Stoke City?…
Liverpool’s pulsating 5-2 Champions League semi-final first leg success over AS Roma on Tuesday night has come at a significant cost.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was injured making a tackle in the early stages of the contest, will now miss the remainder of the season, and the World Cup, with knee ligament damage.
A statement confirming the blow, published on Liverpoolfc.com on Wednesday afternoon, revealed: “The 24-year-old was assessed by the club’s medical team at Melwood on Wednesday morning and no specific timescale is being placed upon his return to action at this stage.
“However, Oxlade-Chamberlain will now begin a rehabilitation programme to enable him to reach full fitness again as soon as possible, returning to action next season.”
Sadio Mané (thigh), who was on target against the Italians, is also expected to be absent when Stoke City visit Anfield in the Premier League on Saturday lunchtime, but the Reds are hopeful it will be the only game he misses.
The duo join fellow first-teamers Joël Matip, Adam Lallana (both thigh) and Emre Can (back) on the sidelines at a pivotal point in the campaign.
Reds boss Jürgen Klopp does at least have Nathaniel Clyne available again after the right-back missed last weekend’s 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion due to a muscular issue.
With the return match against Roma on Wednesday night it is widely expected that Klopp will make changes to his line-up for this fixture.
Amongst those hopeful of being handed a rare start are Ragnar Klavan, Alberto Moreno, Dominic Solanke and Danny Ings.
The absence of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can and Lallana leaves the Reds particularly short in midfield, so youngsters Ben Woodburn and Curtis Jones could be involved in the matchday squad.
Moving Trent Alexander-Arnold into midfield is another option with the club well stocked in the full-back areas at present.
Former Reds defender Glen Johnson is regarded as Stoke’s main injury concern heading into the contest with a tight groin.
His absence is expected to open the way for on-loan Chelsea man Kurt Zouma to return, but Maxim Choupo-Moting (groin) and Kostas Stafylidis (rib) remain out.
Neither side has anyone ruled out through suspension.
Possible Liverpool X1: Karius, Clyne, Klavan, Gomez, Moreno, Alexander-Arnold, Wijnaldum, Milner, Woodburn, Solanke, Ings.
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