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Blog: How Liverpool Players Fared During The International Break?




International breaks are one of the most frustrating things about football for most football fans, especially for those who are extreme club football supporters. It is the time during which many players get injured and end up missing matches for their club. Liverpool fans can easily understand this because their key striker, Daniel Sturridge was injured during a training session for England last year. The striker had just returned from injury then and was selected for England’s team by the much hated Roy Hodgson. And the long injury of Sturridge made Liverpool’s season worse last season.

This week we had the international break and again the club fans were closely watching to see if everything’s fine with their players. Liverpool was lucky this time because their key players were already injured. This avoided the risk of them getting injured on international duty. Mamadou Sakho, Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ings, etc were already injured and none of them could take part in the international matches. However, a few Liverpool players featured for their respective national teams, some were on the bench and some were not even picked by their national team coaches.

Liverpool’s current number one, Simon Mignolet started for Belgium against Italy. He was the understudy to Chelsea goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois. Courtois’ injury has given him a spot in the starting line-up. Out of all Liverpool players who represented their national teams, Mignolet had the best international break. Belgium defeated Italy, 3-1. Even though Mignolet couldn’t keep a clean sheet, he made a few saves and ensured Belgium’s win. He was named as Belgium’s ‘Devil Of The Match’. Liverpool’s second goalkeeper, Adam Bogdan, saw his national side (Hungary) go forward in the Europa Cup from the bench.

Nathaniel Clyne was an unused sub in England’s 2-0 defeat to Spain. Tottenham’s Kyle Walker started for England at right-back instead of Clyne. Clyne started for England in their 2-0 victory over France. But reports this week stated that Hodgson does not think Clyne and Walker are good enough for Liverpool. The report says that he is planning to play Everton’s John Stones(whose natural position is centre-back) as right back. This news, at first, was not received well by the Liverpool fans. Then they looked at the brighter side. The chances of Clyne getting injured during international duty is less if he doesn’t play.

Martin Skrtel captained the Slovakian team in their 3-2 win against Switzerland. The 30-year-old was also booked in the match. Liverpool left back, Alberto Moreno, who looks much better under Jurgen Klopp has not still made it to Spain’s senior team. Dejan Lovren, who is looking forward to impress Klopp in the absence of Liverpool’s star defender, Mamadou Sakho, was not selected for his national team’s (Croatia) friendly matches.

Emre Can’s versatility earned him a spot in Germany’s national team again. He came on as a substitute for Germany, replacing the injured Jonas Hector on the 34th minute of the game. Germany was defeated by France 2-0, however, the game was overshadowed by the terrorist attacks that took place in France, while the game was going on.

Liverpool’s Brazilian trio of Lucas Leiva, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho went unselected for Brazil’s national team. Reports say that they were involved in a behind closed doors friendly against Wolves. Dejan Lovren, Kolo Toure, Alberto Moreno and Joao Carlos Teixeira. Allan Rodriguez De Souza, the new impressive talent Liverpool bought this summer also featured in the match.

Joe Allen played the full 90 minutes for Wales in their 2-3 defeat against Netherlands. The midfielder got the chance to score for his national side from a penalty, but unfortunately, his penalty was saved by Netherlands goalkeeper, Jasper Cillessen. However, Crystal Palace midfielder, Joe Ledley, scored from the rebound. Joe Allen also provided the assist for Wales’ second goal, scored by Emyr Huws.

Adam Lallana started for England in their 2-0 defeat against Spain. He was replaced by Tottenham’s Eric Dier during the 63rd minute of the match. However, Lallana did not start for England in their match against France. He came on for the former Liverpool winger, Raheem Sterling, during the 68th minute of the match.

Liverpool striker, Christian Benteke saw his national team (Belgium) defeat Italy (3-1) from the bench. Liverpool’s another Belgian striker Divock Origi, who has not been able to settle at Liverpool was not selected for Belgium’s national team.

In short, Liverpool and its players had a quiet international break, but there are lot of positives to take for Liverpool. Mignolet and Allen had good games for their respective national sides. Liverpool also saw the return of Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Daniel Sturridge and Jordon One (he got injured during this international break and quickly recovered). Even though, Henderson and Sturridge is back in full training, they are expected not to play for Liverpool against Manchester City this weekend.