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Aug 13, 2019, 8:16:00 AM

Liverpool suffer Alisson blow

Liverpool have suffered an early blow in their campaign to wrest the Premier League title from Manchester City as first-choice goalkeeper Alisson has sustained a serious injury.

According to reports in the UK sports media, Alisson will be out of action for several weeks following the calf injury that he suffered in the club’s opening-day 4-1 victory over Norwich City. The Brazil star, who played a vital role in Liverpool’s successful 2018-19 campaign after joining them from Serie A club Roma, was forced off after just 39 minutes of that opening game, and was replaced by back-up keeper Adrian, who joined the club during the summer transfer window.

Speaking about Alisson’s potential absence, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said that it wasn’t possible to make a precise prediction, but it was likely to be several weeks:

“I saw already like ‘six weeks’ and stuff like this, but Ali was not a lot injured in his career so I would like to wait a little bit to see how he develops in that process now, but he is not in for the next few weeks.”

The injury to Alisson has forced Liverpool to consider their options, and it has been reported that they are likely to bring in veteran goalkeeper Andy Lonergan as cover for Alisson on a short-term deal. Lonergan, who is 35, left Championship club Middlesbrough during the summer and can be brought in on a free transfer. He has experience of working with the Liverpool squad, having joined the team to help with their pre-season preparations.

At that time, Simon Mignolet, who has since moved from the club, was their sole available goalkeeper, as Alisson was still away following his international duty with Brazil in the Copa América, and Caoimhin Kelleher was recovering from a broken wrist.

Liverpool also have Kamil Grabara on their books, but he is currently with Championship side Huddersfield on a season-long loan spell and will not be recalled.

Adrian is likely to be first choice for Liverpool’s next fixture, the Super Cup game against Chelsea on Wednesday, for which the Reds are strong favourites with sports betting companies, but Lonergan is expected to be on the bench.

After Wednesday’s game in Istanbul, Liverpool head to Southampton on Saturday for their second Premier League fixture of the season.

Words: Josh Dixon

Images: PA