Fresh injury blow for Liverpool as key man ruled out of Arsenal cup clash

Date published: Wednesday 30th September 2020 4:48 - Dave Tindall

Liverpool have a gap to fill in defence following news that Andy Robertson’s back-up, Kostas Tsimikas, has been ruled out of Thursday’s Carabao Cup clash with Arsenal.

The Greek signing started his first game for the club in last week’s convincing 7-2 victory over Lincoln.

And while Liverpool’s attackers made the headlines that night, Tsimikas gained good reviews too.

Jurgen Klopp moved for the 24-year-old in the summer to provide cover for Scottish ace Robertson.

But he won’t be able to show his talents again after picking up a thigh injury in the romp at Lincoln.

Assistant Pep Lijnders, who will again take charge of Liverpool, said: “We thought it would settle but it didn’t and he will need a few more days and the international break as well.”

Liverpool also have defender Joel Matip and attacking midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain unavailable due to injury.

The Reds used Virgil van Dijk for the first half against Lincoln in a bid to help organise and settle the much-changed team around him.

That responsibility could now fall to James Milner. Not only would he provide on-field leadership, the 34-year-old can also fill in at left-back, a role he’s been used to performing at Anfield.

Skipper Jordan Henderson is another who won’t be involved.

Lijnders explained: “Jordan we will re-evaluate on Friday after this game to look if he is ready for (Sunday’s Premier League trip to) Villa, at least to train with us.”

Henderson has been out since picking up a knock in the 2-0 win at Chelsea. He missed Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Arsenal on Monday night.

Koumetio could feature against Arsenal

Another defender who could be involved is teenager Billy Koumetio.

The 17-year-old centre-back made his return from the sidelines by playing 60 minutes in the U18s match against Manchester City on Saturday.

Lijnders believes the Frenchman has a bright future.

He told “Billy has a clear pathway inside our club. He is just at the start of this pathway.

“He had an unbelievable season in the U18s last year, he is part of our squad and his development has been massive. He is so humble and so full of potential, but he has his own process, his own objectives.

“The reason he played only 60 minutes in the U18s game at the weekend was due to medical reasons, so we have to look to see how he is, but we’re really happy he is part of our team.”

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