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Liverpool v Arsenal: the injury news

By Tony Attwood

And so, continuing the approach to Liverpool Reds (as one of their owners called them not so long ago) against Arsenal, here’s an update on the team…

Theo might travel.  That is not the same as saying he is even on the bench, and certainly not to say he will start, but travelling is step one along the road to recovery (as it were).  But Arsène Wenger has said that he is only just starting full training after the groin strain suffered while travelling with England.

Pesky business this travelling.

Nacho Monreal could be travelling too, and Alex the Ox might even be ready to play again.  Mr Wenger put it all in these choice words (slightly edited in order to make it fit the format).

Very slight chance: Theo

Slight change: Monreal

Good chance: The Ox

Good progress: Mesut Özil (latest date is 1 January)

Very close to being ready: David Ospina and Tomas Rosicky

No chance: Mikel Arteta (Dec 26 maybe), and Aaron Ramsey (Dec 28 maybe, or perhaps not until January)

Progressing as planned: Laurent Koscielny (also Dec 28)

For Liverpool, the player we didn’t sign and were never going to sign, despite all the best fantasies of the media, Balotelli, is banned for one game and fined £25,000 and ordered to attend a re-education programme for posting a racially offensive and/or anti-Semitic image.  Cue “Mario’s Craziest Moments” articles in the press.  Only one or two papers delve into the fact that the player claimed he was exploring the use of irony – a difficult concept which is at the heart of much post-modernist thought and artistic expression.

Balotelli who has himself suffered considerable racist abuse apologised openly, and expressed the determination that it would not happen again and all the press noted his immediate willingness to accept his punishment without appeal.
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Liverpool’s injuries are Lovren, Balotelli (did we not mention that he will serve his suspension while injured?), Sturriedge, De La Torre, Flanagan.
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Physioroom now has Newcastle top of the injury league with 14 players out, followed by Arsenal (9).  On third are Man U, Stoke and Southampton (7).  Liverpool come next on six.
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Least injury prone teams at the moment are West Ham, Tottenham and Swansea with one player out each.
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Funny old game.  Could Southampton’s demise have to do with their injuries and having three players suspended, while WHU’s success is perhaps down to their lack of injuries.
It might be so.
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16 comments to Liverpool v Arsenal: the injury news

  • Pete

    Tony – Too right about clubs’ current form being highly correlated to injuries. It is so obvious, yet so frequently overlooked.

    Regarding the comeback dates, is that your supposition or do you have confirmed quotes to support? Would be good to go into the holiday programme with a stronger squad – particularly in central midfield. Will need plenty of resources available for the West Ham and Southampton games.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin.

    Let me confess to say that, I am a big fan of Mario Balotelli (alia-Super Mario). I had during the last summer transfer window severally advocated for his transfer to Arsenal to star for the Gunners. But alas! The boss would have non of that much publicized transfer saga. Let me add. Balo’ has so far not lived-up to his high status billing since he came to Liverpool. He has struggled to find the net just once in many games. He has been profigacing in front of goal. But if the boss had signed him, would he not have severally found the net for the Gunners? Arsenal and Liverpool are not the same. They play differently. Would even the boss had gotten Sanchez had Sanchez opted for the Red? Wouldn’t the boss have signed Balotelli if such a seneros had happened? Would Welbeck be signed had Giroud not got injured? I think Arsenal prosperity has already answered all my questions. But this is what the Gunners front line would have probably looked like. Podolski-Giroud-Bolotelli. With Cambpell and whoever as there cover. That brings to the fore. Would Podolski playing from midfield wide-left and covers overlapping Gibbs makes a big impact in terms of scoring goals for the Gunners at Anfield on Sunday evening? We thank God as Balo’ is suspended for this game. Because I have suspected he will use this game to unleash his hidden anger and frustrations on the Gunners for the boss refusing to sign him which consequently devalued his transfer fee. Arsenal Ploy: Szczesny..Debuchy..Chambers..Bfg..Gibbs. Flamini/Coquelin. Sanchez…Cazola…Podolski. Giroud. Welbeck and not very fit Ox and Monreal to start from the bench. If the boss has a better than Coquelin. Let him pair him with Flamini at CDM jobs.

  • Josif

    Mr Attwood, here is a (I think) reasonable question:

    would Mario Balotelli have been fined and suspended had he been a white English player (e.g. John Terry)?

  • AL

    Wow, interesting correlation between table position and injuries there.

  • proudkev

    As I said yesterday, we have loads of players coming back. The injuries have definitely played a key role in our inconsistent start but messing around with the team every week will do that. Chelsea have been fairly lucky and able to field their best 11 most weeks. With the lads we have coming back, our bench is going to be frightening. Remember, these boys are going to be fresh, so the winter break the european teams have will not be an advantage. I can see us doing what we usually do and have a really strong run from January on. Dare we dream but with our strongest team we can beat anyone and I have this strange feeling about the Champions League and it’s not the Christmas Port taliking! Bring them on….

  • nicky

    Any revision of these pointless friendly internationals which has caused (indirectly) Walcott’s setback, is long overdue.
    Otherwise, Clubs will need to become far more cautious before releasing players recovering from injury, for national duty.

  • Josif

    @nicky, you might have heard about that new competitions (League of Nations or something like that) that should replace the international friendlies.

  • nicky

    @Josif,
    Yes. “A rose by any other name…..”
    Just an alternative means of increasing the finances of the governing bodies.

  • Tom

    Arteta,Ramsey,Ox,Walcott, Rosicky,Koscielny constitute a sextet of muscular injuries suffered by Arsenal players , which didn’t accur as a result of a foul or impact.
    Diaby and Ospina have suffered reacurence of previous injuries, although to be fair , Diaby is a separate case to be sure, but still that’s eight Arsenal players who are out for other reasons then contact.

    Surely something to thing about.

  • Pete, I don’t have any special knowledge – just take what I can from what goes on in the press briefing.

  • Josif, I think Untold runs into enough trouble by suggesting that there is evidence to make us suppose all is not well with the world of refereeing. To suggest there is racism as well, is an extra battle, and I am having difficulty enough fighting the campaigns we are already involved in.

    We’re taking on the media, the referees, the historians, the financiers… I don’t think we can do any more.

    But you might be right.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree Tom. The antics of referees, and some opponents do not help, but there must be something else as well.
    Have stated before, but think it is significant that so many of our youngsters who have only limited experience with the pgmol or shawcrosses of this world at least seem to suffer similar consequences.
    Not that they would make it public, but really hope the club are doing all they can on this.
    I know other teams have similar or worse injuries, but just seems a permanent handicap these days.
    Shads work will take time I guess.

  • Micheal Ram

    In every match, my biggest or rather my only worry is the officials. Once the officials start to shit on the Arsenal players, I know the opponents will take advantage it. If Liverpool should able to commit violent play with referee driving them, I hope and encourage Arsenal players to stand up against such nonsense and raise their game. I was watching Man Utd and Liverpool last weekend, and my god, both teams were atrocious. Their players looked so average technically compared to Arsenal players. No joy at all watching the game. If it’s a fair game, Arsenal should be comfortable. But then again I hope the players back up their words when supporting the manager by not being complacent. We win this, we shut down Liverpool this season, a boast for the title shot. Don’t give up and don’t give in, I meant the fans. Go gunners!

  • jambug

    Micheal Ram

    I agree with you my friend but what worries me is that the lads did exactly that at Stoke.

    After an atrocious start, and pretty poor 1st half in general, they came out and gave it everything in the 2nd half and where well on the way to at least saving a point before the referee decided to stop us in our tracks.

    It wasn’t enough that he was letting Stoke players assault us at will, he perversely decided any Arsenal player touching a Stoke player was worthy of a Yellow card.

    Playing a media loved Liverpool, in need of some serious help to get back on there feet, at home, is a serious worry for me with regards to how the referee will handle tomorrows game.

    My prediction.

    -We will end up with 10 men.

    -A dodgy Liverpool goal will stand.

    -Liverpool will get a pen.

    -We will not get a pen, even if we have 2 or 3 good shouts.

    As you can tell, I’m not hopeful.

  • Mick

    @jambug
    And we will finish up with another half dozen yellow cards, mostly soft and undeserved, as opposed to the scousers who will finish with a token couple awarded in the last few minutes of the game having spent the previous 80 odd minutes being allowed to kick lumps out of us.

  • Nick Lee

    There is no mention of diaby being injured.Think Wenger will roll him out in january fully fit .It will be his excuse for not buying in the window.Hde will then break down a week later before getting a new contract in the summer.