Liverpool lost Gonzalez, Pennant and Alonso to injuries last night, and as luck would have it, it was just when Gerrard was coming back into form and the Kuyt-Crouch partnership looked like something Benitez might just stick with up front.
Losing Gonzalz and Pennant is not ‘bad’ necessarily – but losing Alonso pretty much is. Liverpool can’t play Gerrard both in the centre and on the right, so something’s got to give.
Expected Liverpool lineup for the weekend game (assuming none of the three players return to the squad by then)?
Garcia can play on the left, Zenden and Gerrard in the center, but they’re a man short on the right unless Finnan pushes up and Agger goes out to right-back.
Or they could shift to 4-3-3 (read 4-5-1) with Kuyt and Bellamy/Fowler wide and Crouch upfront. That’s probably what Liverpool will go with, seeing their luck with injuries (3 midfielders crocked in one game, 2 others already on the doctor’s table).
On the bright side, Liverpool next away game is in 10 days, against Wigan (followed by an away game against Galatasaray). Maybe Alonso will be back by then?
After that, the next away game is against Charlton on 16th December, right before the Carlin Cup tie with Arsenal at Anfield. Liverpool’s season could in worse by then, if they don’t get their players back in time.