Injury Bug Will Affect Klopp’s Debut

Klopp, new Liverpool manager

The day has finally come. We are finally going to see what Jürgen Klopp can do in the Premier League. Klopp’s first match at the helm of Liverpool will be a trip to White Hart Lane to take on Tottenham Hotspur. Mauricio Pochettino’s club will be looking to give the German manager a debut defeat, but that’s easier said than done.

Even as a Manchester United fan I was excited when Liverpool announced they had signed Jürgen Klopp to be their next manager after sacking Brendan Rodgers. The German, now dubbed “The Normal One,” racked up 179 wins from 318 matches (nearly a 57 percent win percentage) while in charge of Borussia Dortmund, and was one of the main instigators in making BvB the European powerhouse that it is today. The move to the Premier League provides Klopp with a completely different challenge than what he faced in Germany. Will the physicality and “route-one” playing styles cause a learning curve for the 2x Bundesliga champion?

Unfortunately for Liverpool fans, the squad will be missing four key cogs when they take the field on Saturday. Klopp confirmed that young defender Joe Gomez has suffered an ACL injury that could keep him out for some time. In addition to Gomez’s absence, the team will be without Christian Benteke, Roberto Firmino for at least this fixture, while Danny Ings looks to be out for the rest of the season. The injury bug in the frontline could prove to be the most problematic for Liverpool as it leaves attacking responsibilities to an injury prone Daniel Sturridge and an unproven Divock Origi. When Sturridge is 100 percent, he’s arguably the best forward in England, but an injury to him leaves Liverpool extremely impotent in the final third.

Despite their relatively poor position in the league (eighth), Tottenham are the only team in the Premier League that haven’t lost a league match since opening day. Spurs’ season has been one of draws as they’ve tied four of their eight matches so far. On their day, however, Spurs have shown themselves to be an all around team that is fully capable of competing for Champions League competition. During their 4-1 destruction of Manchester City, we got to see just how good Christian Eriksen and co. could be, and if they bring that same form into Saturday’s fixture there’s not much Klopp can do to beat them.

For me, the key player for Spurs for this match, and for the whole season really, is Christian Eriksen. The Danish midfielder keeps his team going during matches with impressive passing along with a constant eye for goal. The former Ajax man is coming off of his best game of the season with a dominant two-goal performance against Swansea City that included this magisterial free kick. Eriksen’s performance in the heart of the pitch will be a major determinant if Spurs can compete on Saturday and I think that he will continue to showcase the form that’s quickly making him one of the most sought after players in Europe.

Jürgen Klopp is the only man that could make me root for Liverpool, and I think he will overcome the club’s injury problems to claim victory Saturday. Will this be the first of many wins for the German? Final score: Tottenham 1-2 Liverpool


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About the author: Collin Carpio


I am currently a senior at the University of Missouri in the Journalism School. I have been an avid follower of Manchester United since 2006 and of course I support the Stars and Stripes. Due to my St. Louis high school allegiances, I am a big supporter of Brad Davis and Sporting KC in MLS.


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