By Alex Stevens
Adam Lallana is set to miss Liverpool’s Premier League clash against 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.
It is said that Georgino Wijanldum is “set to earn a recall” as he is the “obvious replacement for Lallana against the Saints”.
The Echo report that Lallana, 28, is in line to return to the Liverpool side for their Premier League home match against Sunderland at Anfield on 26 November, which follows the Southampton trip.
The likely absence of Lallana this weekend is a major blow to manager Jurgen Klopp, given the player’s growing influence for the Merseysiders.
Lallana has been a key member of Liverpool’s dynamic front four that has ripped teams apart this season and contributed to the league’s top scorers, with 30 goals in their 11 matches in the competition.
The former Southampton ace has scored three goals and supplied five assists in his 11 league matches, 10 of which he has started.
The only match Lallana has not started this season in the league was when another groin injury restricted him to a cameo role in the 0-0 draw against United last month.
Wijnaldum, 26, has operated predominantly in central midfield since joining from Newcastle but could now be pushed further forward to be closer to the front three of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.
Football Insider verdict:
Lallana will be sorely missed by Liverpool against Southampton on Sunday. The playmaker has been one of the team’s outstanding players in their impressive start to the season, and an integral member of the dynamic front four who have torn opponents apart with some breathtaking play. Liverpool fans only need to recall the goalless draw against Manchester United last month, when Lallana was benched for the first hour because a groin injury did not allow him to play the full game, to appreciate how important the 28-year-old has become to the team’s playing style and chances of breaking down defences. Wijnaldum is a smooth operator but does not possess Lallana’s outstanding technical ability in tight spaces.
In other Liverpool team news, Klopp’s side could be runaway leaders by Christmas but will they throw it away again?