Liverpool look to keep the pressure on Antonio Conte’s Chelsea side with a win over Sunderland today but Jurgen Klopp might be without Jordan Henderson.
In the Reds’ New Year’s Eve clash win over Manchester City, Henderson was substituted after an hour of play, although it was unclear at the time why the England international was withdrawn but Jurgen Klopp told reporters after the game that it was due to discomfort in his heel – but that it’s not a recurrence of the injury which ruined last season for him.
“It’s a bit of a problem with the heel,” Jurgen Klopp told reporters on Saturday evening. “I don’t know exactly what it is. I hope it’s not too serious.”
The moment I heard that the reason Henderson was taken off after only 60 minutes against City was because of a heel injury, I was worried. Despite what some detractors might tell you, Henderson has cemented himself this season as one of Liverpool’s most influential performers and this is reliant on his hard running and high work rate – something which is impossible with a heel injury which makes it harder to move across the park.
There is no word on whether or not Henderson will play against his former club today but it would come as no surprise if Klopp rested him. Hendo has played every league game this season and may be in need of a breather, especially with fixtures coming thick and fast.
With Emre Can’s return to fitness, Klopp has enough squad depth to cope with a trip to the Stadium of Light and not feel the absence of Henderson too much. With Chelsea not playing Tottenham until Wednesday, today offers Liverpool a huge opportunity to win and pile the pressure on Chelsea – a win would see the Blues’ lead at the top cut to three points.
Jurgen Klopp will be telling his players how important it is to win today with a game against Chelsea at Anfield in four weeks. After a 4-2 win over Stoke City, Conte’s side equaled the record for successive league wins with a 13th straight victory and it will need to be a massive performance from Spurs to get something from the game.