Injuries hampering Reds revival

Liverpool have shown some improvement under new coach Jurgen Klopp, but injuries to key players continue to hamper the Reds' revival under the German.

Klopp took over from Brendan Rodgers at the start of the month with much fanfare, but so far the results haven't quite gone the Anfield club's way.

His first game in charge – a 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane – was a credible result considering he only had two training sessions with the squad while his right-hand man Zeljko Buvac hadn't even arrived on Merseyside yet.

A 1-1 at home to Rubin Kazan in the Europa League followed, before Sunday's match at Anfield against Southampton in what was his first home game in charge of Liverpool domestically ended in the same scoreline.

Whilst three draws – albeit against three decent sides – is far from fantastic, it is a solid return nonetheless and in Sunday's match against Saints, a clear improvement was visible.

Mamadou Sakho in central defence has been superb since his reinstatement, while the midfield duo of Lucas Leiva and Emre Can has shown a new lease on life over the last few weeks.

However, the Reds continue to struggle in front of goal – an issue that has been at the forefront of their problems since the departure of Luis Suarez – as illustrated by the fact that only two of the 15 shots they had on goal against Saints were on target.

To Rodgers' credit, he correctly identified in the off-season that the Reds forward line needed improvement and as a result Christian Benteke and Danny Ings were added to the injury-prone Daniel Sturridge and previously on-loan Belgian starlet Divock Origi.

For Klopp, though, the perceived strengthening of the Reds strike force has been something of a myth.

Ings was ruled out for at least six months with a knee injury while on international duty prior to Klopp's first match, while Daniel Sturridge is also struggling with a knock to his knee and has only been a bit-part player in recent times.

Meanwhile, Benteke has suffered a plethora of minor injuries since making the switch from Villa Park and in his absence, Origi was tasked with leading the line on his own – a job the 20-year-old former Lille ace clearly isn't suited to at this point in his career.

Of course, the Reds have some first-teamers on the injury list elsewhere on the pitch too. Captain Jordan Henderson is expected to be out for another two to three weeks as he recovers from a fractured foot, impressive young defender Joe Gomez is also out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury, whilst versatile full-back Jon Flanagan has been on the injury list for the last 18 months with, you guessed it, a knee injury.

Benteke, though, made his return to the side during Sunday's draw against Southampton and scored Liverpool's first goal under Klopp in the Premier League, but ahead of Wednesday's Capital One Cup Clash against Bournemouth, the big Belgian has also suffered a knee injury.

Liverpool don't believe his injury to be serious and haven't yet ruled him out of the upcoming clash against Chelsea, but for the home clash against the Cherries, Klopp has few options up front.

Reverting to Origi is certainly an option, but after the Belgian was hooked at half-time against Southampton, perhaps Klopp feels he needs a bit of time on the sidelines.

The other striker in the Reds squad is young Jerome Sinclair, but he too might be regarded as 'too wet behind the ears', having made only two appearances for the first team.

The remaining option to Klopp on Wednesday is to play Roberto Firmino leading the line as a 'false nine', a role he has fulfilled for the Brazil national team with mixed success.

Whichever option Klopp goes for against Bournemouth, it is clear that the various injuries to his strike force has left the German boss somewhat hamstrung in terms of team selection in the short term.

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