Liverpool injury news: Dejan Lovren and Mario Balotelli face late fitness test but Glen Johnson ruled out of Arsenal match

Johnson suffered a groin injury in the 3-0 defeat to Manchester United and has been ruled out for up to a month

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The Independent Football

Liverpool have a number of concerns in defence heading into their weekend tie against Arsenal that is already being marked out as a must-win match if either team wants to take a step towards finishing in the top four.

Brendan Rodgers confirmed that Glen Johnson would be ruled out for up to four weeks ahead of the midweek Capital One Cup victory over Bournemouth, having suffered a groin strain in the 3-0 defeat to Manchester United.

Rodgers is already without the services of versatile defender Jon Flanagan due to a long-term knee injury, and his worries were compounded when Dejan Lovren limped out of Wednesday’s match at half-time after suffering a groin injury of his own.

 

Lovren’s exit is thought to have been precautionary and he could recover in time to face the Gunners on Sunday, though they will definitely be without striker Daniel Sturridge who will spend Christmas in the United States to train with the Boston Red Sox as he seeks to return to fitness in January.

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Lovren went off during the win over Bournemouth

There could be a return for his strike partner Mario Balotelli though, after the Italian missed the win over Bournemouth having only just recovered from a pelvis injury. He came on at half-time in the defeat to United, but Rodgers may be reluctant to start him given that Raheem Sterling has played well since being switched to the lead striker in a new 3-2-4-1 formation.

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