Lucas Leiva is set for a spell on the sidelines while the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana should be available for Tottenham Hotspur’s visit on Tuesday night, Brendan Rodgers has confirmed.
Lucas was forced to come off after just 15 minutes during the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park which finished 0-0 because of an adductor problem with the scans revealing that the midfielder could be out for around 4-6 weeks.
Coutinho and Sterling both picked up knocks in the same match though the pair is expected to be back in time for the crucial game for the 4th spot in line. Lallana too could return following a groin injury.
In the press conference on Monday, Rodgers told reporters: “Lucas is one that will probably miss a little bit of time. We’re just waiting on the exact results of the scan. All the others should be fine.”
Lucas was replaced by Joe Allen in the derby and the midfielder is set to start again following confirmation by Rodgers that Emre Can won’t be moved out of the defence.
“Lucas has been very important for us but there will be an opportunity for someone else,” he said.
“Eventually, Can will be a player who plays further forwards and there might be games when I do think that but you also have to remember the balance of the team as well, which is very good at the moment.
“It’s four clean sheets in a row and defensively we have been very strong.”
“With Emre you can see the importance of his role and the position he plays in there. He was immense at the weekend in a real physical game.
“Why disrupt that and try and fix something that could actually create another problem? The balance of the team is fine at the moment.”
When asked whether star striker Daniel Sturridge could be handed a first start for over five month, the manager refused to reveal his cards: “You’ll see tomorrow night. He’s in a condition where he has been training for a little bit of time. There’ll be a time where he will be able to start, whether it’s tomorrow or whether it’s at the weekend, you’ll have to wait and see.”
Sturridge has made three substitute appearances since his comeback and will be hoping to start for the first time since the 3-0 win over Spurs back in August.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has a full squad to choose from, and his side will be coming into this game following a morale-boosting North London derby win.
Spurs don’t play again after this for almost 10 days, and the Chilean might go with an unchanged squad in this battle for the Champions League spot.
Although there is a possibility that the likes of Nacer Chadli and Andros Townsend could be handed starts as Spurs will be looking to play on the break.