Liverpool could lose five key stars for PL opener vs Norwich City
According to the Liverpool Echo, Liverpool could be without as many as five key first-team stars for their 2021/22 Premier League season-opener against Norwich City.
After having made a meal of their title defence last time out, Liverpool will be aiming to get out the blocks quickly and set the tone early as they look to topple Manchester City from their perch. And the challenge starts with a trip to Carrow Road where a newly-promoted Norwich City await.
However, things could get tricky for Jurgen Klopp & co. as they may have to make the trip without five key members of the first-team. Indeed, the likes of Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara, Roberto Firmino, Alisson Becker and Fabinho could also be missing when the Reds take on the Canaries.
This is because of the quintet’s continued involvement in the ongoing international tournaments. While Henderson and Thiago have made it to the semi-finals of the UEFA Euro 2020 with England and Spain respectively, the trio of Firmino, Alisson and Fabinho are in the finals of the 2021 Copa America after beating Peru in the semi-finals on Monday night.
The final of the Euros takes place on July 11, a day after the finals of the Copa America. As per the report, all players involved will be given at least a three-week break. But Klopp wants his players well-rested, which could lead to another extra week of holiday.
That would mean the quintet (if Henderson and Thiago make it to the finals) would only be able to return to training around August 9, just five days before Liverpool play Norwich.
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While Klopp and the fans would certainly want their stars to do well for their countries, it does put the team in a tight spot, especially in midfield what with Georginio Wijnaldum already departed and the potential of all three of Henderson, Fabinho and Thiago not being available for the opener.