Home Premier League Everton FC Rodgers battles injury worries as Merseyside derby draws near

Rodgers battles injury worries as Merseyside derby draws near


Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has a selection dilemma brewing ahead of the Merseyside derby against Everton next week.

Injuries are mounting at Anfield, and Rodgers is left with something approaching a defensive crisis.

He admitted on Thursday that the Reds had been training with just 15 players this week, with Glen Johnson the latest to join the casualty list.

Johnson joins Lucas Leiva, Jose Enrique, Sebastian Coates and Daniel Agger on the sidelines, whilst Mamadou Sakho is still working his way back to full fitness after a hamstring injury.

The return of Jon Flanagan, who should feature in the FA Cup at Bournemouth tomorrow, comes at a crucial time.

With two potentially season-defining games in little more than 72 hours, Liverpool are down to just five senior defenders.

One of those, Aly Cissokho, is woefully out of form, whilst Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtel are yet to convince as a partnership.

Flanagan has not played since December 21, and Martin Kelly has made one senior start in 16 months.

Crisis? Not quite. Liverpool do still have Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, Steven Gerrard, Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling, after all.

But their resources are being stretched to the full at the moment, especially with Lucas, their only recognised defensive midfielder, also on the treatment table.

Rodgers will hope his patched-up back-line can stand up to the task, in what could be a pivotal game in his side’s season.

Written by Steve Milne

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