Skip to content
Liverpool 2.0?  Chelsea in injury crisis with just two fit central midfielders who could threaten to derail the Premier League title challenge – just as Jurgen Klopp’s men found out last season


This time last season, Liverpool led the Premier League after 15 games before the busy holiday schedule started.

Virgil van Dijk’s injury has raised fears their campaign may collapse, but six wins in nine top-level appearances since his blow to ACL gave manager Jurgen Klopp hope his side could survive without him. colossal Dutch.

Virgil Van Dijk suffered an ACL injury in September 2020 and the injuries at Anfield have been relentless after that
Getty Images – Getty
Liverpool 2.0?  Chelsea in injury crisis with just two fit central midfielders who could threaten to derail the Premier League title challenge – just as Jurgen Klopp’s men found out last season
Klopp’s men received blow after blow to the injury front last season
Getty Images – Getty

What happened next, however, turned out to be a nightmare of epic proportions – and one that ultimately saw their hopes of retaining their title dwindle.

Two more long-term injuries from Joe Gomez and Joel Matip sent the Reds into an all-brown crisis in defense.

Natural midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho were forced to team up at the back, before Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies were urgently recruited in January.

There were also notable absentees in midfield, with Thiago Alcantara, Henderson and Fabinho getting injured later.

Liverpool 2.0?  Chelsea in injury crisis with just two fit central midfielders who could threaten to derail the Premier League title challenge – just as Jurgen Klopp’s men found out last season
Alexander-Arnold was one of Liverpool’s many injured
AFP or licensors

Diogo Jota, who had dazzled at the start of the campaign after his £ 40million transfer from Wolves, has also been sidelined for six weeks.

Injuries led to a pretty noticeable drop in form for the then Premier League champions.

After a 7-0 victory over Crystal Palace in December, they have won just three of 14 games, including an extraordinary six-game losing streak at Anfield – a disastrous home form never seen before in the club history.

The six straight losses came in the span of just 46 days, starting with a 2-1 loss to Burnley, then Brighton (1-0), Manchester City (4-1), Everton (2-0), Chelsea (1-0) and Fulham (1-0).

This season, Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea appear to be suffering a strangely similar fate.

Much like Van Dijk for Liverpool, Chilwell’s ACL injury was the catalyst for a large influx of arrivals into Cobham’s medical room.

Liverpool 2.0?  Chelsea in injury crisis with just two fit central midfielders who could threaten to derail the Premier League title challenge – just as Jurgen Klopp’s men found out last season
Tuchel’s men suffer a similar fate this season
GETTY

After a superb start to the campaign, injuries began to coincide with difficult form for the European champions.

They drew with an out of the ordinary Manchester United, were very lucky to beat Watford and were defeated by West Ham last time around to drop them to third place in the table.

Their situation in midfield, to put it bluntly, is dire.

The Blues have just two central midfielders in great shape, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Saul, who was on loan over the summer but made two nightmarish appearances which led to him being hung up in the mid- time.

Ross Barkley can play in the middle as well, but he’s more used to an attacking role and doesn’t fit the starting role as one of the two midfielders in Tuchel’s 3-4-3 system.

Liverpool 2.0?  Chelsea in injury crisis with just two fit central midfielders who could threaten to derail the Premier League title challenge – just as Jurgen Klopp’s men found out last season
Kante has become very injury-prone in recent seasons
Getty

When your luck is lost it really is – as Liverpool found out last season – and the situation regarding Mateo Kovacic is proof of that.

The Croatian returned to Chelsea training on Monday after hamstring problems, only to return a positive coronavirus test on Tuesday.

He had been out of action since the end of October and Blues boss Tuchel had hoped to relieve him this week.

N’Golo Kante remains on the sidelines with a knee problem, while Jorginho was forced to play despite the pain of a sore back and will now miss Wednesday’s Champions League trip to Zenit.

Kovacic, Kante and Jorginho are all essential to Tuchel’s system as Chelsea’s stellar defensive midfielders, and the Blues have fought to make up for their respective absences.

Liverpool 2.0?  Chelsea in injury crisis with just two fit central midfielders who could threaten to derail the Premier League title challenge – just as Jurgen Klopp’s men found out last season
Chilwell is one of the many injured players Chelsea has
Getty

The problems aren’t just in the back, either.

Marcos Alonso took a hit in the loss to West Ham last weekend, while Trevoh Chalobah and Ben Chilwell are still out.

Ross Barkley may well have an important role to play for Chelsea, whose team’s incredible depth has been reduced in quite a remarkable way in recent weeks.

Tuchel, however, is hopeful that his largely unscathed attack can do the trick for him.

Havertz, Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi are all in great shape.

So more than ever, the Blues need their attackers to find their rhythm, with dense and fast matches during the Christmas period and starting with a Champions League clash against Zenit on Wednesday.

Bet of the day

BETFAIR is offering all new customers £ 60 in free bets when you place a £ 10 bet on football this week

CLAIM OFFER HERE

*Place a £ 10 bet on football (December 6-12), min. odds 1/5 (1.2) – get £ 60 in free bets. The £ 40 free bets will be awarded after the qualifying bet has been settled and the £ 20 free bet the following day. Only card deposits will be eligible, Apple Pay is not valid on this promotion. The T & Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware.org


Sports

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.