By William Hill
15th January 2019
News has broken this afternoon that Liverpool could be without Trent Alexander-Arnold for four weeks after the right-back injured ankle ligaments against Brighton – a particularly concerning development given understudy Nathaniel Clyne has been loaned out to Bournemouth.
However, despite occasional right-sided defender Joe Gomez also being out until the end of the month, the Anfield club’s recent showings against Bournemouth and Wolves offer evidence they will be more than capable of coping in Alexander-Arnold’s absence.
Bournemouth 0-4 Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp opted for a rare orthodox 4-4-2 for this away day romp on the south coast, with ultimate professional James Milner drafted into the TA-A slot and Fabinho brought into midfield.
Milner (88) and the Ligue-1-winner (87) had more touches than any other player on the pitch bar Andrew Robertson, while the Englishman made a game-high seven crosses and the Brazilian made as many passes as anyone involved in the game.
Georgino Wijnaldum was the other central midfielder on duty against the Cherries and while he’s also expected to miss the visit of Crystal Palace through injury, Jordan Henderson is available to step in to offer a calm, in not overly creative head, in the engine room.
Liverpool dominated possession with 59.5 percent of the orb as Klopp paralleled Bournemouth’s formation and such a setup should be equally capable of bringing joy against the Eagles, who often set up in a 4-4-2 themselves.
Wolves 0-2 Liverpool
Admittedly Eddie Howe’s side were slipping to a fifth defeat in six games when they were turned over by Anfield’s finest, but no such reservations can be held about the Alexander-Arnold-less win at Molineux.
Wolves had won three in a row coming into Liverpool’s visit, including a win over Chelsea in the Black Country and have routinely been giving big-six sides a tough time this term.
Once again Milner was given the nod at right-back, with Fabinho joining Henderson in the two of Klopp’s 4-2-3-1 and another win to nil ensuing.
Again the former Manchester City star, was one of the more influential players on the pitch from his unusual station, making 15 more passes than any other player involved in the match.
With Wolves going on to beat Tottenham at Wembley two games later it shows what a potentially dangerous side Liverpool were able to suppress with Milner at right-back and Fabinho slotting into midfield.
The Reds are 1/6 to beat Crystal Palace in the match betting, but as big as 5/6 to beat them to nil.