It took extra time for Liverpool to see off League One stragglers Notts County last night and, in the process, three players were lost to injury with the Reds finishing the night reduced to ten men on the pitch after Brendan Rodgers used up all of his substitutes and Kolo Toure went down with a groin problem.
Fullback Aly Cissokho, making his first start for the Reds, tweaked his ankle and had to be substituted less than ten minutes into the match with Daniel Agger – one of the players we’d hoped would be spared a run out – on in his place. In his post match press conference, the boss confirmed that the Frenchman wouldn’t be out too long despite being “devastated” by the injury. Joe Allen, replaced by Jordan Henderson in the early stages of the second half, may not have fared quite as well with Rodgers advising that the club will need to further assess what could be a hamstring problem. After Philippe Coutinho – another player we were hoping to keep fresh for Sunday – replaced the flagging Luis Alberto, the Reds were left with no further substitutions and the worst was yet to come.
When Kolo Toure went down in extra time, Liverpool was reduced to ten men; although the News Desk was hoping the big Ivorian would be ready for the weekend, the boss pulled no punches in his post-match assessment. “His groin opened up a wee bit. He overstretched his groin and it doesn’t look so good, to be honest” said Rodgers. Although we don’t have confirmation how long out the trio is facing, it’s the injury to Toure that the Reds will feel the most in the short term with Martin Skrtel still recovering from an knock of his own and Manchester United coming to town this weekend. With the Slovakian international far from match fit and an adequate replacement nowhere to be found, it’ll no doubt be nervous times around Anfield this weekend.