Liverpool have flown out to Marbella for training this week, in a bid to relax and refresh the players ahead of a hectic month of fixtures that could define their season.
While the desired effect is clearly wins over Bayern, Manchester United and Everton, things could just as easily go the other way. The last thing they need, with the current state of play as far as injuries go, is to come back from the Andalusian coast a couple of men light because a few of the players enjoyed the time in the sun that little bit too much.
Here, then, are six scenarios Reds players could find themselves in that would signal disaster for Liverpool‘s title hopes.
1. Mohamed Salah and Dejan Lovren Bump into Sergio Ramos
As we alluded to in 90min’s innaugural Royal Rumble, any potential meeting between Lovren and Ramos would just result in an angry scrap, and probably a suspension for the big Croatian, since he would certainly win the fight.
You wouldn’t fancy Salah’s chances, though, especially since the monster-heel that is the Real captain nearly put his World Cup in jeopardy with an armbar in the Champions League final back in May.
Most likely, a chance meeting would result in both players being out for the Bayern and United games. With central defensive resources already of negative utility, that is decidedly not what Liverpool need.
2. Roberto Firmino Smiles at Himself in the Mirror by the Pool, Blinds Himself in the Process
You could argue that Roberto Firmino is the one outfield player that Liverpool can’t afford to lose at any stage of the season, given his unique ability and effectiveness in the ‘false nine’ and traditional attacking midfield roles.
But also: look how white his teeth are. They’re a disaster waiting to happen, especially for someone who quite clearly fancies himself (who wouldn’t?) and has a history of optical injuries.
One of these days, he’s going to smile into a mirror, and his dazzling dental hygiene is going to come back and haunt him in the form of temporary blindness. Frankly, I’m surprised it hasn’t happened yet, and it should be a very real pool-side concern for the coaching staff.
3. Adam Lallana Does a Cruyff Turn on the Beach and Does His Hamstring in the Process
Adam Lallana loves two things and two things only: Cruyff turns, and getting injured.
It’s a natural assumption, then, that his two passions will eventually converge to cause the most Adam Lallana incident that’s ever happened in the history of Adam Lallana, and it could just as easily happen in a tentative beach kickabout with Alberto Moreno and Divock Origi as anywhere else.
4. Jordan Henderson Goes Full Bellamy on Trent Alexander-Arnold
In a pretty mental story from John Arne Riise’s autobiography, the former left-back tells a tale of Craig Bellamy going absolutely nuts and attacking him with a golf club in an alcohol-fuelled effort to assert his dominance as Liverpool’s alpha-male.
Having watched the Jordan Henderson vs. Trent Alexander-Arnold episode of England’s ‘Megs’ – in which the 19-year-old embarrasses the club captain by nutmegging him no less than three times – it doesn’t seem like a huge stretch to imagine him doing something similar in Spain.
He is from Sunderland after all, and if Sunderland Til I Die tells us anything, it’s that they’re a passionate people.
5. Daniel Sturridge Somehow Injures Himself Getting On the Plane
Daniel Sturridge went one full, entire calendar year without picking up any fresh injuries in 2018. Or so Transfermarkt says, at least. Wild.
Such is the striker’s extensive history of knocks, however, he’ll need another couple of clear seasons before he outlives his reputation. There remains a sense that even though it’s been over 12 months since his last spell on the sidelines, you’re still just waiting on “Liverpool Striker Daniel Sturridge Out for Six Weeks With Hip Injury” to hit the headlines.
It’s coming, it’s just a matter of when. Could it happen as he attempts to board the plane back to Liverpool? Not for me to say…but yes.
6. Andy Robertson Suffers From Chronic Sunburn
A Glaswegian doing sports. On the coast of Spain. Are you mental, Jurgen?
There is no adequate amount of sunscreen or protective clothing that can prevent the brutal onset of tomato-face Liverpool’s favourite Scot is going to come back to Merseyside with on Friday.
It’s sadistic that they even took him with them, considering the amount of running he will definitely do despite being literally cooked alive.