Can Liverpool win the Europa League and Premier League amidst their injury crisis?

By on February 21, 2024

jurgen klopp liverpool

Liverpool are sitting top of the Premier League table and are favourites to win the Europa League. However, has Jurgen Klopp got the resources to win both amidst their current injury crisis?

After a terrible 2022/23 campaign, the Merseysiders are rejuvenated this season after Klopp overhauled his ageing midfield last summer. The fans and players have also been fuelled to achieve great things this season after Klopp announced his departure as manager in June. The club want to send the German coach out with a bang, and Liverpool are on course to pick up some silverware.

They will contest the Carabao Cup against Chelsea on Sunday and are still in the FA Cup having knocked Arsenal out in the 3rd round last month. However, the Premier League is the big prize they want while Klopp would also love to leave Anfield with another Europa League medal around his neck, so no doubt they are the priorities over the coming months.

Liverpool currently sit top of the Premier League table after 25 games. They hold a one point lead over Man City and a two point advantage over Arsenal. The Reds could extend their lead if they beat Luton Town at Anfield on Wednesday night and there the overwhelming favourites to beat the relegation-threatened Hatters on home soil.

Favourable fixtures

The Merseysiders are in a fierce battle with Man City and Arsenal for the PL, but they arguably have the best fixtures on paper. Looking at the schedule, Liverpool have to play Aston Villa and Man Utd away from home but they don’t have any other ‘big’ team on the road. All of their remaining games against the so-called big six are at Anfield, which gives them a huge advantage. They’ve already played Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle twice this season, and entertain Tottenham and Man City at home.

If we look at City’s fixtures, they still have to travel to Liverpool, Tottenham and Brighton, while also taking on Arsenal, Man Utd and Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium. Arsenal have perhaps the toughest games remaining as they have to travel to City, Brighton, Tottenham and Man Utd, while playing Newcastle, Chelsea and Aston Villa at home.

So just looking at the fixture list and the games between the ‘big’ teams, it appears Liverpool have the best run in and are well placed to win the title this season. Obviously the title will be decided by the games between the contenders, but the fact Liverpool play City at home and have fewer top teams left to play, they appears in excellent shape in the Premier League title race.

Europa favourites

After missing out on the top four last season, Liverpool have been playing in the Europa League this campaign. While it’s not the competition they want to be in, it does give them another realistic chance of silverware. Liverpool breezed through the group stages and are the favourites to go all the way and win the Europa League. Bayer Leverkusen are second favourites with AC Milan third.

Supporters who buy Europa League tickets and go to all the games know this competition is still worth winning and it would be another major trophy to add to his collection if Klopp could go all the way this season. The German played his fringe players in the group stages, but he’s likely to field a much stronger starting eleven in the knockout stages so rotation wont be as prevalent.

Injury issues

The big problem for Liverpool is they are having to deal with a number of injury issues. At present, up to TEN [10] players are on the treatment table, which is leaving Klopp with very little room to rotate his squad. The latest injury victim is star man Mohamed Salah, who has picked up a thigh injury. It’s not thought to be serious, but it will be a big concern for the Egyptian to be carrying such a knock heading into the business end of the season.

Alisson Becker missed Saturday’s 4-1 win at Brentford with a thigh injury and he’s expected to be out until after the March international break, which is a huge blow for Liverpool. Diogo Jota was forced off against Brentford at the weekend after suffering a serious knee injury and is facing months on the sidelines, while Trent Alexander-Arnold is also nursing a knee injury.

Joel Matip is out for the season with an ACL injury, Dominik Szoboszlai is carrying a thigh injury, Darwin Nunez picked up a knock at the weekend while Curtis Jones was also forced off against Brentford with an ankle problem. With Stefan Bajcetic and Thiago Alcantara also out, Liverpool have big injury concerns right now.

Can they do both?

With a squad stretched to it’s limit by injuries and the games coming thick and fast, do Liverpool have the resources to go all-out to win both the Premier League and Europa League, as well as the domestic cup competitions this season?

Obviously Klopp’s priority will be the Premier League and he’ll do all he can to play his best side week-in, week-out. The Reds have a big Carabao Cup final against Chelsea to contend on Sunday and they should play a very strong side at Wembley. We could see Klopp try to rotate in the FA Cup fifth round tie with Southampton as that will be at Anfield.

Much will depend on who Liverpool draw in the last-16 of the Europa League. If they get a relatively easy draw, Klopp will be able to rest some of his key men and focus on the surrounding Premier League games. However, if Liverpool get a tough draw, Klopp will have a big decision to make as it would be a risk to play his strongest eleven. Tough European away days can lead to fatigue and a drop in performance in the league just a few days later. The Reds may also pick up more injuries in these games.

All of this is good news for Liverpool’s title rivals, with Arsenal perhaps standing to benefit the most. They crashed out of both domestic cups early so don’t have those games to contend with. Arteta can give his players a breather and ensure they are fully fit for the league games. The Gunners do have a Champions League tie against Porto to worry about, but Arteta has some important players coming back from injury to boost his squad so he’ll be able to rotate when needed.

It’s shaping up to be a fascinating few months as the big clubs like Liverpool, Man City and Arsenal compete for the Premier League title whilst also navigating their way through Europe and other cup competitions. How the managers rotate and avoid key injuries could be key in their search for silverware this season.