Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez faces a tough uphill battle prior to the clubs big Sunday match against Chelsea. With striker Fernando Torres a massive doubt for the match, Benitez revealed that the club are now also sweating the prospects of losing three world class players after yesterday’s Champions League clash.
Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso all left the pitch in the space of 22 second-half minutes and Benítez said afterwards that each had been taken off as a precaution. He also revealed that it was unlikely that one of the last night’s absentees, the former Atlético Madrid striker Fernando Torres, would be fit to face the league leaders at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
“The international break is a problem and they were tired,” Benítez said. “The pitch was very soft and they were struggling with muscle problems. A few of the players had problems and I made changes to try to keep fresh legs and to try to make sure players are fit. Gerrard is not injured, or at least not seriously. I hope he and the others will not be a doubt for Sunday but we will see. (Guardian)
Torres’ injury appeared to put more than enough stress on Benitez going forward; but the thought of not having Alonso, Gerrard and/or Keane for the match has to make the run-up to Sunday extremely tough. From the look of things, Benitez can trace all of these issues back to the international break — a break that Benitez loathes to the very core.
Are Liverpool supporters worried about the fitness of the three players? Do you think the club could still get a result without them?