Liverpool are currently top of the Premier League table after securing another victory against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park this weekend; however, there are several challenging fixtures ahead.
The games are coming thick and fast for the Reds, with the final Europa League group-stage game against Union Saint-Gilloise on Thursday and then back to Merseyside to host the most anticipated clash of the season against Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday.
Whilst Liverpool have comfortably cruised through their Europa League campaign so far, holding onto the top spot in the Premier League is no easy feat and will take perfect performances to maintain.
That is why it will be important to Jurgen Klopp that he not only keeps his best players fit and on form but can also rotate quality into his team and get some of his first-team stars back in the squad as soon as possible.
Liverpool supporters would’ve been overjoyed to see Alisson Becker back to his best in goal on Saturday afternoon, however, Alexis Mac Allister and Diogo Jota were nowhere to be seen in South London.
Long-term injury concerns Stefan Bajcetic, Thiago Alcantara and Andy Robertson were also absent with the latter making way for Kostas Tsimikas to take his chances to impress in the left-back role.
The latest on Liverpool’s injuries and potential return dates
Alexis Mac Allister: The World Cup-winning midfielder has been an important influence in the new-look Liverpool side since his arrival in the summer, however, has been absent from the match-day squad since he suffered a knee injury against Sheffield United last week.
The Standard has claimed that Mac Allister is unlikely to make an appearance in the dead rubber mid-week after having stitches at Bramall Lane, but could be in contention to start against Erik ten Hag’s men on Sunday afternoon.
Diogo Jota: The Portuguese goal machine has been missing since Liverpool took a point away from a trip to the Etihad against Manchester City, with a muscle injury claimed to be keeping him out of action.
Jota remains in recovery but has been out on the grass running since and is involved in team training; although Klopp has remained tight lipped on his timeframe of absence, he did give a hint of the expectation for the forward’s return when asked about Mo Salah’s absence during AFCON next month.
The Liverpool boss told the press:
“No, I didn’t think about it to be honest and I can’t change it anyway,”
“I have no real plans for it. It’s January, right? I hope Diogo is back then.”
Jota could be set to return to action on Boxing Day (26th December 2023) against Burnley, according to Premier League Injuries.
Andrew Robertson: Potentially Liverpool’s biggest injury blow this season so far has been that of Andy Robertson who has been sidelined after fracturing his shoulder.
The full-back required surgery after suffering the injury whilst captaining Scotland during the international break in late October and has not been available for selection ever since.
However, it is looking like Liverpool fans won’t have to wait much longer as the talented Scotsman in expected back in time for 2024, and could even be ready to start against Newcastle United on New Years Day.
Thiago Alcantara: The Spanish star has become something of an enigma for Liverpool supporters as he continues to recover from much-needed surgery on his hip that took place in April 2023.
Thiago has suffered a few setbacks in his return to action, which have prevented him from playing a part in any competition so far during the 2023/24 season.
Like Robertson, it is expected that the talented midfielder will make his return in 2024, which is a timeframe that has recently been backed up by Klopp.
The German coach revealed:
“It’s an ongoing thing and we cannot put any kind of pressure on there as well. We expect him to be back – and I would say probably the start of the new year.”
Joel Matip: The latest devastating injury on the red side of Merseyside has been the blow to beloved centre-back Joel Matip, who has ruptured his ACL and will likely not be seen again at all this season.
Matip is one of the few players who has a contract expiring in the summer of 2024, but Klopp has already hinted at a possible extension.
He was quoted saying that the club will “show their class” in this situation and is confident that the defender is deserving of the chance to stay on beyond June 2024.
Stefan Bajcetic: The youngster who captured the hearts of many Liverpool supporters last season has struggled to get match fit in order to continue his development in the first team squad over this campaign so far.
Bajcetic was seen in the starting eleven against LASK and featured in the Carabao Cup clash with Leicester but has been sidelined this September with no definite return date confirmed.
According to Premier League Injuries, the teenage sensation is currently being assessed and is ruled out for the foreseeable so it will be unlikely to see him before the turn of year.