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.
Liverpool injury list
Liverpool injury list
1/5 Adam Lallana
Replaced against Manchester United after picking up a groin problem, missed the game against Arsenal and is unlikely to return against Blackburn.
2/5 Jordan Ibe
The promising youngster has been out with a knee injury but returned to light training last month.
3/5 Brad Jones
A thigh injury forced the goalkeeper off on Boxing Day last year with no return date set.
4/5 Jon Flanagan
Hurt during pre-season, the defender is still yet to feature this season. Training is becoming more intensive for the 22-year-old and he played a small cameo in the Steven Gerrard charity game at Anfield.
5/5 Mario Balotelli
Missed the game against Arsenal but could be fit against Blackburn after training with the first team.
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.
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.Reuse content