International breaks never amuse Premier League faithful, to say the least, simply because it always brings the risk of high-end injuries to the players, and thus affecting the title ambitions. And to say the Premier League clubs have been the long sufferers of this break would be a massive understatement.
This time around too, the curse has followed and of all the other clubs, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have been hit the hardest. They are not the only club in the list though, as the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea share the scars as well. That being said, the gaffers are sure to have a firm headache ahead of the game week 9, and here we look at those names who might miss out due to their respective injuries.
The Gunners are on a 9-game winning run, having defeated Fulham 5-1 away from home the last time out. They now face a firm Leicester test at home but have been dealt with a major injury blow as summer recruit Sokratis Papastathopoulos suffered an ankle injury on Monday during Greece’s 2-1 defeat against Finland. He is expected to miss the Leicester fixture.
Another player on the similar radar is striker Danny Welbeck, who had to withdraw from England squad owing to a hamstring injury. As per the sources, he will be assessed before the game.
Arguably one of the best fixtures of the season, Chelsea host old foe Manchester United at Stamford Bridge during the weekend, but the participation of Antonio Rudiger remains doubtful. The defender was called by the Germany manager for France and Netherlands game, but had to withdraw due to a groin injury. Taking to Twitter, he said he will “be back soon.”
Another Chelsea player in the fray is Ethan Ampadu. The youngster was seen limping off at 50-minute mark during Wales’ 4-1 defeat against Spain on Thursday.
If you have Wilfried Zaha in your Fantasy Premier League team, it is time for you to check papers. Serving Ivory Coast for their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, he had to withdraw from the squad after sustaining a thigh problem. Palace are without a win – in a game where Zaha hasn’t played – since 2016, and as a crunch game as Everton awaits, his probable absence is sure to hit them hard.
As mentioned, Liverpool have been hit the hardest and the players on the verge of missing are Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Naby Keita and Virgil van Dijk. Away on an international duty with Senegal, Sadio Mane broke his thumb during a training session. Liverpool have confirmed he has undergone a successful procedure, but his participation remains a doubt.
Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita, on the other hand, picked up hamstring injuries, with the latter’s deemed as the serious one. Salah and Mane are on the course of facing Huddersfield over the weekend, but Keita remains a high doubt.
Virgil van Dijk, on his part, starred as the Netherlands defeated Germany 3-0. He, however, was rested for the Belgium game owing to an ongoing rib injury. ESPN understands he initially picked up the problem in the Champions League win against Paris Saint-German.
Manchester City received a big boost after Kevin De Bruyne returned from his injury. However, another setback has followed the Cityzens, as Danilo left the field in tears during Brazil’s game against Argentina, suffering an ankle injury. Sky Sports quotes he had returned from the same injury a month ago and has picked up the same problem at the same place.
Midfielder Nemanja Matic withdrew from Serbia squad for their Nations League matches. He, furthermore, still remains a doubt for Chelsea game as he is still recovering from his back issues. Marouane Fellaini, on the other hand, wasn’t involved in Belgium’s last game due to lack of fitness, but Roberto Martinez has confirmed he “should be fine.”
Luke Shaw couldn’t make into Gareth Southgate’s England squad as he was quickly ruled out with a thigh injury.
Kenya captain Victor Wanyama helped his team get past Ethiopia on Sunday, but at a cost of a hamstring problem. Wanyama was subbed off late in the game, but that was just a precautionary measure by the coach Sebastian Migne.
Danny Rose, on the other hand, pulled out of England squad this weekend with a minor groin problem. His injury though isn’t a severe one and he should be back for the London Derby against West Ham.