The Liverpool test: Who has strongest squad?

Date published: Sunday 18th October 2015 1:46

Jurgen Klopp Divock Origi Liverpool Football365

The standard of Liverpool’s injury-hit squad came in for significant criticism this week, but how would their Premier League rivals fare with similar injuries to nine players?

Daniel Sturridge, Jordan Rossiter, Danny Ings, Joe Gomez, Roberto Firmino, Dejan Lovren, Christian Benteke, Jordan Henderson and Jon Flanagan. The list of injury casualties throughout the Liverpool squad ahead of Jurgen Klopp’s first game as manager against Spurs was a daunting one. Nine players who, between them, have made 610 Premier League appearances, ranging from a pair of first-team strikers to reserve players.

 

Liverpool starting XI and subs against Spurs

Mignolet

Clyne Skrtel Sakho Moreno

Lucas Can

Milner Lallana Coutinho

Origi

Subs: Bogdan, Toure, Allen, Ibe, Sinclair, Teixeira, Randall

 

I discussed the weakness of Liverpool’s ravaged squad earlier in the week, but it was the standard of Liverpool’s bench in particular which drew criticism. In the words of Daniel Storey:

The impact of injuries on this Liverpool squad can be illustrated by looking at the number of Premier League starts since the beginning of last season by their outfield substitutes: Kolo Toure (7), Jordon Ibe (9), Joe Allen (16. SIXTEEN), Joao Teixeira (0), Jerome Sinclair (0), Connor Randall (0). You don’t need me to tell you that that isn’t a top-four bench.

The question is, how would Liverpool’s direct rivals for the Premier League top four fare under similar restrictions? We have taken last season’s top five and the Reds’ Merseyside rivals Everton (just because) and mirrored Liverpool’s injuries as best we can in order to judge the standard of each side’s squads.

 

Arsenal

Ruled out

Theo Walcott = Sturridge (starting striker)
Tomas Rosicky = Rossiter (reserve midfielder)
Danny Welbeck = Ings (back-up striker)
Calum Chambers = Gomez (utility defender)
Aaron Ramsey = Firmino (starting midfielder)
Gabriel = Lovren (back-up central defender)
Olivier Giroud = Benteke (starting striker)
Santi Cazorla = Henderson (starting midfielder)
Kieran Gibbs = Flanagan (reserve full-back)

 

Cech

Bellerin Mertesacker Koscielny Monreal

Coquelin Flamini

Ozil Wilshere Oxlade-Chamberlain

Sanchez

Subs: Ospina, Debuchy, O’Connor, Arteta, Bielik, Iwobi, Campbell

 

Chelsea

Ruled out

Diego Costa
John Obi Mikel
Radamel Falcao
Papy Djilobodji
Willian
John Terry
Loic Remy
Nemanja Matic
Baba Rahman

 

Courtois

Ivanovic Cahill Zouma Azpilicueta

Loftus-Cheek Ramires

Hazard Fabregas Oscar

Pedro

Subs: Begovic, Aina, Clarke-Salter, Traore, Musonda, Kenedy, Kiwomya

 

Everton

Ruled out

Romelu Lukaku
Ryan Ledson
Leandro Rodriguez
Tyias Browning
Kevin Mirallas
Ramiro Funes Mori
Arouna Kone
James McCarthy
Tony Hibbert

 

Howard

Coleman Stones Jagielka Baines

Barry Besic

Deulofeu Barkley Lennon

Naismith

Subs: Joel, Galloway, Oviedo, Gibson, Cleverley, Osman, Pienaar

 

Manchester City

Ruled out

Sergio Aguero
Fabian Delph
Kelechi Iheanacho
Martin Demichelis
David Silva
Eliaquim Mangala
Wilfried Bony
Fernandinho
Bacary Sagna

 

Hart

Zabaleta Kompany Otamendi Clichy

Fernando Toure

Navas De Bruyne Nasri

Sterling

Subs: Caballero, Kolarov, Maffeo, Zuculini, Garcia, Roberts, Ambrose

 

Manchester United

Ruled out

Wayne Rooney
Marouane Fellaini
James Wilson
Marcos Rojo
Juan Mata
Phil Jones
Anthony Martial
Bastian Schweinsteiger
Guillermo Varela

 

De Gea

Darmian Smalling Blind Shaw

Schneiderlin Carrick

Young Herrera Lingard

Depay

Subs: Romero, McNair, El Fitouri, Valencia, Pereira, Powell, Mitchell

 

Tottenham

Harry Kane
Harry Winks
Clinton N’Jie
Kevin Wimmer
Erik Lamela
Federico Fazio
Heung-min Son
Eric Dier
Kieran Trippier

 

Lloris

Walker Alderweireld Vertonghen Davies

Dembele Alli

Chadli Eriksen Townsend

Harrison

Subs: Vorm, Veljkovic, Bentaleb, Carroll, Mason, Pritchard, Onomah

 

Some conclusions:

  • Liverpool’s squad is just as sh*te as everyone else’s would be
  • Chelsea would really struggle
  • Everton weirdly look like they’d have the strongest, most-rounded squad
  • Manchester City are ridiculous (but would have a weak bench)
  • Arsenal wouldn’t be far behind in that regard
  • Manchester United have spent a lot of money, but ouch
  • Spurs better hope they don’t contract a striker virus
  • Clubs love 4-2-3-1 nowadays, don’t they?

 

Matt Stead

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