Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed yet again that Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana will be missing from action, and will out the game against West Bromwich Albion this weekend.
The Reds have been missing their key midfield stars for some time now, with Henderson skipping the last seven league games with a foot problem.
Meanwhile, Lallana has been out since the international break, after suffering a thigh injury on duty with England after they beat Lithuania at Wembley Stadium.
The pair was expected to return to action soon and whilst that is still the case, the game at The Hawthorns this coming Sunday has come too soon for them.
“It was clear from the beginning that it was not a fixed term,” Klopp said on Thursday when discussing Henderson’s progress. “We are still waiting. He feels nothing but we have to make steps so that he can be part of team training.
“it could be next week in training or the week after. I’m pretty sure he could have a few games.”
Klopp added on Lallana’s fitness: “After the Palace game Lallana will be in squad training. With Jordan, it could be next week or the week after.”
The news will come as a blow to Klopp and his side, but Liverpool have still coped admirably in the absence of their key players.
The Reds came from behind to beat Stoke City last week at the Bet365 Stadium, as they continue to maintain their hopes of finishing in the top four.
With some of their pivotal players missing, Liverpool could re-introduce Phillipe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino into the starting line-up after their heroics at Stoke City last weekend.
West Brom will not be pleased to see Coutinho return after he netted what was ultimately the winning goal against them in a 2-1 loss at Anfield in October.
With none of his injured stars expected to return anytime soon, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has to decide whether to persist with three central defenders or revert back to the 4-3-3 system he has used – largely to good effect – for most of the season.
For the first time this campaign, the German started with a back three at Stoke City last weekend. Although his side won the game it would be a huge stretch to say that the system was a success.
Despite the extra defender they had on the field, Liverpool looked as vulnerable at the back as ever. It’s almost certainly not a long-term answer to Liverpool’s defensive issues, but with a difficult trip to West Bromwich Albion coming up this Sunday, Klopp might well see it as a short-term necessity.