Liverpool 2-0 Midtjylland | Champions League | Success or disaster?

G'day mates, today's question is was last night's Champions League victory a great result or has our world just been been turned upside down.

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This morning after winning a match two nil, a result which took us top of our Champions League group and put the odds of progression strongly in our favour, we should be jumping for joy.

Sadly however after Fabinho left the pitch during the first half with a suspected hamstring injury, we are left considering the frailty of our defence.

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It was down to 19 year old Rhys Williams to step up to the defensive plate last night and to his credit he did a very good job. With Van-Dijk out with a long term knee injury though we were already down to just two senior centre backs, Gomez and Matip.

Matip is injured, Gomez hasn't been playing very well and our main defensive cover Fabinho, who had been playing well, is now facing a spell in the treatment room. Where does this leave us?


Fabinho is likely to be out for four to six weeks, generally hamstring injuries take this time or longer to recover from. The best case scenario now is Matip returns on Saturday for our next game and he and Gomez have a lasting run of fitness.

During that six to eight week period we have somewhere in the region of eight matches including games against Manchester City and Leicester in the Premier League and Atalanta and Ajax in Europe.

Fortunately, we're in a good position in the Champions League, top of our group ahead of Atalanta by two points. With four games left to play, we still need a good run not just to qualify but to finish top and put ourselves in the more favourable side of the draw going forward.

In our domestic league we're perhaps lucky that other teams such as City and Leicester have not been in the best of form. Nevertheless they'll almost certainly raise their games against us and even fixtures like our next versus West Ham will not be easy.

My view is we're now entering a period of damage limitation. Losing Van Dijk was enough to see us drop points during the period he's out. Not having a fourth centre back compounded matters, as does the fact Matip is injury prone and now to have lost our main covering player is a real blow.

During recent games we've also seen how losing Fabinho from midfield has a knock on effect - we've struggled to play up and down the pitch as fluidly and effectively without him.

The good news

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Thiago has been out injured since Everton's Richarlison tried to kill him but is back in training and should return to action soon. He will help massively in midfield and it might even be the case we could then use Henderson or Milner to cover in defence should the need arise.

Additionally Matip - also out after receiving a knock in the Everton game - is back in training and should be available to play soon.

When fit Matip is a superb defender and if Gomez and he can stay in shape for those eight or so games it would get us to a point where Fabinho has returned, in time for Matip's inevitable next injury.

At that point we'd have about two months to go until the January transfer window. When it opens we MUST buy a new defender.

I've heard Klopp react angrily at suggestions we failed in not buying one this summer, saying everything's easy in hindsight.

This view is disingenuous because many of us felt it was clear we needed a fourth centre back to replace Lovren and we've been proved correct. Not via hindsight but via the bleeding obvious - Matip is hardly ever fit, Gomez isn't much better and that only left Van Dijk. It's not rocket surgery.

Approaching the winter transfer window we now know we've lost Van Dijk, likely for most or all of the season. It would be negligent of us not to enter the market for that fourth centre back we've been calling for and we only have ourselves to blame if we have to pay a higher premium.




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