'No team in the world' would cope with Liverpool's injuries, says Robertson

Andy Robertson Liverpool 2020-21
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The Reds have had major problems at the heart of their defence in a difficult campaign

Liverpool full-back Andy Robertson has claimed “no team in the world” would cope with the injury problems the Reds have encountered this season.

The Reds won the Premier League title for the first time last term, but their defence has been derailed by a terrible run of injuries in 2021.

They have struggled to cope without long-term injury victims Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip - while Fabinho has been beset by niggling issues and Jordan Henderson added to the problems when damaging his groin earlier in February.

What has been said?

While a report from The Athletic earlier this week suggested Manchester City had a worse injury crisis when winning the title in the 2018-19 season, Robertson claims no team would have coped with the defensive issues that have faced Liverpool this term.

"If you tell any team in world football that they’re going to have 18 different partnerships in a season at centre-back, no team in the world deals with that - not one,” Robertson told Sky Sports.

"Usually we have Virg, who’s very vocal, we have Joey Gomez that leads by example and we have Joel that leads by example. We’ve had Fabinho, Hendo.

"But now we’ve got Nat Phillips who obviously wasn’t here last season, was out on loan, and now he’s there. We’ve got [Ozan] Kabak who’s just a young lad, who’s just come in, and we’ve got Ben Davies who’s been signed from a Championship club and needs to take time - and big Rhys [Williams] of course.

"But all of them are relatively inexperienced and it's trying to help them, but also trying to help the team by focusing on yourself.

"So it’s been tough for me personally of course it has, but look - it’s part and parcel of it. I’m probably the leader at the back, I’m probably the most vocal at the back now and it’s just trying to make sure that we do as well as we can and we try and keep as many clean sheets as we can, because that’s the only way we’re going to win games."

Liverpool’s injury troubles at the back

Van Dijk is not expected to return this term after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury in October.

Gomez, like Van Dijk, suffered a knee injury in October that is likely to sideline him until next season.

Matip suffered an ankle injury in January, and he too is not expected to return to action this season.

Fabinho, who can operate in the centre of defence as well as midfield, has had a series of problems this season and has not featured since the 4-1 loss to Manchester City on February 7.

Henderson had been filling in at centre-half, but he damaged a groin against Leicester on February 13 and subsequently underwent surgery that will keep him out until April.

James Milner also limped out of the game against Leicester with a hamstring problem and has not featured since.

The aim for the rest of the season

The title defence was conceded some weeks ago, with Liverpool's aim now being to secure qualification for the Champions League.

Liverpool can do that by winning the trophy, and they have one foot in the quarter-finals after beating RB Leipzig 2-0 in the first leg of their last-16 clash.

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Securing European qualification via a place in the top four of the Premier League will not be easy.

The Reds are sixth in the table and face a huge game against Chelsea, who are one place above them, on Thursday.

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