Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard looks set to be ruled out for the busy Christmas period with a hamstring injury.
Gerrard was sent through on goal in Liverpool’s 4-1 victory over West Ham at Anfield and immediately after he took a shot at goal, he put his hand up to signal that he was in trouble, and felt his hamstring, with Brendan Rodgers immediately withdrawing him, replacing the Reds skipper with Lucas Leiva.
Not only is it a busy time of year for Liverpool, but it is perhaps their most challenging as their credentials for either a top four place or a title challenge will be put to the test with difficult away trips to Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Chelsea before the turn of the year.
It goes without saying the loss without Gerrard is a big blow to Liverpool as they look to negotiate this difficult period and still remain in the Champions League places. Whilst Gerrard has taken up a deeper role this season, and perhaps become less of a goalscoring threat as a result, the key thing Liverpool are likely to miss is his drive.
With one big player already on the sidelines in the form of Daniel Sturridge it was place more weight on the shoulders of Luis Suarez who has been in fine form this season, and Philippe Coutinho to provide Liverpool’s main goal threat.
Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen and Lucas Leiva are likely to be starting in midfield for the Reds for the foreseeable future. Whilst all have demonstrated their qualities so far this season, Henderson for his versatility, Lucas for being a reliable defensive midfielder, whilst Joe Allen has shown does have a bit of strength and great passing ability.
Those three players are going to have to step up to try and fill the void that Gerrard leaves, whilst someone is a going to have to take responsibility for Liverpool’s set-piece play which has been a big weapon for Liverpool so far this season.
Are Liverpool capable of winning without Gerrard in a big game, of course they are! Whether they can do it over a period of difficult games is another matter, and will really test Brendan Rodgers’ men.
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