Liverpool have been dealt a blow with the news that left-back Jon Flanagan faces several weeks on the sidelines through injury.
The Reds travel to Manchester City on Thursday for arguably their biggest test of the season, and the absence of in-form Flanagan will come as a blow.
The 20-year-old picked up a hamstring strain shortly before the Reds’ 3-1 victory over Cardiff City at Anfield on Saturday and aggravated it during the game, according to the Liverpool Echo, will miss the rest of Liverpool’s festive fixture schedule.
That means the games away to Man City and Chelsea, before the home clash against Hull City on New Year’s Day—and probably the FA Cup 3rd Round tie at home to Oldham Athletic on Sunday, January 5th.
Flanagan had started the previous six games for Liverpool with some solid performances on the left side of the Reds’ defence.
Manager Brendan Rodgers broke the news in the Echo:
Jon had a tight hamstring going into the game against Cardiff last weekend and as it got worse we had to take him off.
It looks like he will be out for a number of weeks with a strain. It’s a blow because Jon has been brilliant for us since he came into the side.
It leaves me with 17 players going into the busiest schedule of the season. That’s not ideal but it gives a chance for players who have been on the outside to come in and contribute.
In the absence of Flanagan, Glen Johnson could be used at left-back, with Martin Kelly—only just back from a long-term injury himself at right-back.
Kolo Toure, Aly Cissokho and Daniel Agger are other defensive options for Rodgers as he looks to put out a strong side against City at the Etihad on Boxing Day.
Manchester City vs Liverpool gets underway at 5.30pm and it’s live on BT Sport. Read our full match preview here.