The Liverpool test: Who has strongest squad?

Date published: Sunday 18th October 2015 1:46

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


Clyne Skrtel Sakho Moreno

Lucas Can

Milner Lallana Coutinho


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.



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)



Bellerin Mertesacker Koscielny Monreal

Coquelin Flamini

Ozil Wilshere Oxlade-Chamberlain


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



Ruled out

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



Ivanovic Cahill Zouma Azpilicueta

Loftus-Cheek Ramires

Hazard Fabregas Oscar


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



Ruled out

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



Coleman Stones Jagielka Baines

Barry Besic

Deulofeu Barkley Lennon


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
Bacary Sagna



Zabaleta Kompany Otamendi Clichy

Fernando Toure

Navas De Bruyne Nasri


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


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



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



Walker Alderweireld Vertonghen Davies

Dembele Alli

Chadli Eriksen Townsend


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

More Related Articles