Liverpool could climb to the top of the Premier League, but the Reds have just had a good state of health to thank for their success so far this season.
The “big six” of the Premier League may have an advantage over the rest of the competition when it comes to their financial muscle, but they still have to rely on luck when it comes to injury.
Using the data from the Transfermarkt absence tracker, we compared the injury records of the six major players during 2019-2020 to date.
After managing to keep most of their biggest stars fit last season, Liverpool were left to challenge their luck on the fitness front in 2019-2020.
Among the backlines, regular customers Alisson Becker (seven league games) and Joel Matip (12 and counting) have faced long spells on the sidelines, with the backup options Dejan Lovren and Nathaniel Clyne currently absent.
In midfield, Fabinho, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Xherdan Shaqiri have lost at least four games or more.
Jurgen Klopp was at least able to rely on his front three throughout the campaign, with only Mo Salah losing a game due to an injury.
Perhaps the most important factor in City’s (relative) struggles this season has been the long term of Aymeric Laporte, who played in the first four games before succumbing to an injury, while fellow defender John Stones also struggled to stay in form.
Injuries to Benjamin Mendy (four league games) and Oleksandr Zinchenko (five games) also caused headaches to Pep Guardiola at times left back during the campaign, while Leroy Sane continues to recover from a serious injury suffered in the pre-season , although his future at the City was already in doubt among Bayern Munich’s interest.
The city was also worried when Sergio Aguero lost four league games after knocking at the end of November, with Rodri also excluded for two league games at the start of the campaign.
📰 | Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte plans to make his long-awaited return from injury by the end of January.
[The Times] pic.twitter.com/ikl86CELhY
– Head of town (@City_Chief) January 11, 2020
Frank Lampard has been hampered by his inability to sign players since joining Chelsea, and has also suffered many injury injuries.
Antonio Rudiger lost much of the first half of the season due to a groin injury, while fellow defenders Andreas Christensen, Reece James and Emerson Palmieri were absent for short periods.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has yet to play in 2019-2020 due to a serious Achilles injury, with Callum Hudson-Odoi losing the start of the season while recovering from a similar problem.
Marco van Ginkel has been injured in the past 18 months, although we are not sure it really matters, and Ross Barkley and N’Golo Kante have lost six league games each.
Christian Pulisic now faces a few weeks, but Chelsea have been relatively unscathed in attack; Tammy Abraham managed to stay in shape and Pedro and Willian lost only one Premier League game due to an injury.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may be under scrutiny at Manchester United’s headquarters, but the manager could reasonably point to the list of injuries as an excuse for some Manchester United inconsistencies.
Paul Pogba made only seven Premier League appearances, while Eric Bailly, Diogo Dalot and Timothy Fosu-Mensah were not available for most of the season.
Luke Shaw (10 games), Anthony Martial (five games), Nemanja Matic (nine games) and Axel Tuanzebe (four games) were all forced to watch from the sidelines in various stages.
More recently, Scott McTominay suffered a worrying injury considering his growing importance for the Manchester United midfield.
I don’t see him at Scott McTominay … clearly trying to get away in January. https://t.co/7MxzJ10qAe
– Scotty (@TridgeTV) January 9, 2020
Like Solskjaer, Jose Mourinho may be able to point out players who are currently out of action in North London.
Hugo Lloris has been out since October, missing 14 league matches to date. Similarly, Harry Kane now faces a long spell on the sidelines.
In defense, Jan Vertonghen missed three games, Juan Foyth was barred for six earlier in the season and Ben Davies lost nine games as he continues to recover from an ankle injury.
Tanguy Ndombele’s fitness has already been questioned by Mourinho after a couple of spells on the sidelines, while Giovani Lo Celso lost five games shortly after arriving from Real Betis. Another new signing, Ryan Sessegnon, arrived injured and was not available for the first 10 league games of the season.
Erik Lamela, meanwhile, has been banned for nine games between October and December, Eric Dier and Serge Aurier have lost one game each and Dele Alli has been absent for the first two games of the season.
One of the many frustrations for Arsenal this season has been the injury issue faced by Kieran Tierney’s new signature. The left-back has been sidelined for the campaign’s first five league games with a hip injury, while a shoulder injury has ruled him out of the Gunners’ last six meetings and is unlikely to return until March.
Similarly, Hector Bellerin was excluded from the first five games of the season while recovering from a serious knee injury and lost his last seven league games after suffering a hamstring injury in the warm-up before winning at West Ham.
Another new signing, Dani Ceballos, was unsuitable for nine games between November and the end of January, while strikers Alexandre Lacazette and Gabriel Martinelli were barred from four and three games respectively at the beginning of the season.
Konstantinos Mavropanos also lost a long spell at the start of the campaign, although the defender was just loaned to Nuremberg and would have only been on the outskirts of the first team.
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