By Alex Stevens
Adam Lallana has not yet been ruled out of Liverpool’s Premier League trip to Southampton on Sunday.
The Liverpool Echo claim that the in-form playmaker “is unlikely to be risked against his former club” after breaking down with a “minor groin injury” in England’s 2-2 draw against Spain on Tuesday.
But manager Jurgen Klopp revealed on Thursday morning that Lallana still has a chance of featuring against Claude Puel’s side at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Klopp explained that Lallana will undergo a scan on his injured groin as the coaching staff keep their options open as to whether he can play.
“We haven’t done a scan until now,” Klopp said, as quoted by the official Liverpool Twitter account. “It will be close and we will have to wait. We hope it is not too serious”.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 17, 2016
Lallana has started 10 of Liverpool’s 11 Premier League matches this season, and was restricted to a brief cameo in the goalless draw against Manchester United last month due to a separate groin problem.
The 28-year-old has been in outstanding form during the Reds’ climb to the league summit, scoring three goals and providing five assists in the top flight.
Liverpool have taken 26 points from their opening 11 matches, while Southampton have 13 points and are placed 10th in the league.
Football Insider verdict:
It would be foolish for Liverpool to take any risks with Lallana’s fitness against Southampton. Yes, he is pivotal to the team’s style of play and is in the form of his life. But if the 28-year-old was to break down again, a minor groin problem could quickly escalate into a major one. If there is any doubts about Lallana’s ability to play a high intense Premier League match, Liverpool should play it safe, allow him allow week to rehabilitate and get him in perfect nick for the key December and festive period.
In other Liverpool team news, Klopp’s side could be runaway leaders by Christmas but will they throw it away again?