Stats: Liverpool misery could continue in wake of Sturridge's latest injury

Liverpool suffered another blow on Friday when Daniel Sturridge was ruled out for at least three more weeks after suffering another injury in training.

Now the England international, who injured his calf during a warm-up at Melwood on Thursday, will miss a number of crucial games, including home and away Champions League group ties against Real Madrid. 

The striker’s return to fitness was set to provide a huge boost to Brendan Rodgers' faltering side. It means the club will weakened in attack for several more weeks, with the so far underwhelming Mario Balotelli the most likely attacking option for the visit of the La Liga giants in midweek.

The Italian international has just one goal to his name - a Champions League strike versus Bulgarian minnows Ludogorets - and he is yet to threaten in the league.

Since completing his £16 million move to Anfield, he has averaged more shots per match than any other top flight player, but his goal return has proven non-existent. 

  Chance CreatedPlayed
Manchester City 94 7
Chelsea 89 7
Liverpool 86 7
Arsenal 77 7
Queens Park Rangers 77 7

The team have created the third highest number of chances in the Premier League thus far, yet scored fewer goals than nine other top flight sides (10). Without a player capable of finishing these opportunities, Liverpool have struggled.

The Anfield faithful will pray Balotelli adjusts quickly to Brendan Rodgers unconventional tactics, but this is no certainty. The striker clearly prefers playing in a front two, but his head coach seems unwilling to give Fabio Borini or Rickie Lambert the go-ahead alongside him.

The club's best bet is a speedy return for Daniel Sturridge.

Incredibly, the England international has scored 32 goals in 46 Premier League games for Liverpool; twice as many as Luis Suarez had at this stage (16 from 46). The club may have been searching for the Uruguayan's successor over the summer months, but in truth, the answer could lie far closer to home. 

His absence has been hard felt throughout the opening weeks of the season, and it's no surprise to see the Reds languishing in mid-table. The club have been unable to re-produce the pure firepower of last season, and while the loss of Suarez is a contributing factor, with Sturridge's injury lies the crux of the problem.

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