Liverpool's trophy hopes dealt huge blow as star defender set to miss EFL Cup final against Chelsea

Liverpool's two captain Trent Alexander Arnold and Virgil Van DIjk | Imago

Liverpool's trophy hopes dealt huge blow as star defender set to miss EFL Cup final against Chelsea

Ayoola Kelechi 02:09 - 16.02.2024

Premier League giants Liverpool will be without one of their most important players when they play in the EFL Cup final against Chelsea

Liverpool's aspirations for silverware this season have been significantly hampered with the news that star defender Trent Alexander-Arnold is expected to be sidelined for the upcoming Carabao Cup final against Chelsea

The setback comes after Alexander-Arnold experienced a recurrence of a knee injury, casting a shadow over Liverpool's preparation for the crucial fixture at Wembley on February 25.

Recurring injury woes for Trent

Alexander-Arnold, who has been a pivotal figure in Liverpool's defensive lineup, was forced off the field at half-time during the match against Burnley on Saturday, following complaints of knee pain. 

This incident marks a concerning return of the ligament damage that saw him miss a substantial part of January. Although the club has not provided a specific timeline for his recovery, the EFL Cup final appears to be an unrealistic return date for the 25-year-old defender.

With a critical Premier League clash against Manchester City on March 10 and the Merseyside derby against Everton looming, Liverpool's fixture list poses further challenges. The absence of Alexander-Arnold, coupled with uncertainties surrounding the fitness of Dominik Szoboszlai, Thiago Alcantara, and the definite absence of Joel Matip, presents manager Jürgen Klopp with significant selection dilemmas.

Liverpool turn to youth after Trent injury

In light of Alexander-Arnold's injury, Conor Bradley and Joe Gomez are in contention to fill the right-back position for Liverpool's next league game against Brentford. The return of Mo Salah to training, following a hamstring injury sustained at the African Cup of Nations, offers a glimmer of hope amidst the injury crisis.

The injury to Alexander-Arnold is particularly concerning for Klopp, who had been cautiously reintegrating the defender into the first team following his initial injury layoff. Despite substitute appearances and limited game time against Arsenal aimed at easing him back, the reoccurrence of his knee issue against Burnley has raised alarms, with Klopp confirming post-match the defender's discomfort in the same knee area.

Liverpool suffering from fixture congestion

Liverpool's schedule remains congested with Premier League, FA Cup, and EFL Cup commitments. Following their visit to Brentford, the Reds host Luton in the league, before their much-anticipated EFL Cup final showdown at Wembley. An FA Cup fifth-round tie against Southampton and a league match at Nottingham Forest further add to Liverpool's busy calendar as they navigate through this challenging period without one of their key defenders.

As Liverpool gears up for a critical phase of the season, the loss of Alexander-Arnold to injury is a significant blow to their trophy ambitions. Klopp will now have to devise a strategy to cope with the defender's absence, as the team seeks to maintain their pursuit of silverware across multiple fronts.

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