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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Key defender ruled out until May –

Liverpool defender Conor Bradley is expected to miss the rest of April as a result of the ankle injury he suffered during Sunday’s surprise Premier League defeat to Crystal Palace.

Bradley has become a regular starter for Liverpool since January and has impressed during that time, even raising the possibility that his emergence could help Trent Alexander-Arnold make the permanent switch into midfield to fully utilise his range of passing.

But the 20-year-old was forced off early in the second half during the visit of Palace, to be replaced by Alexander-Arnold making his first appearance since February after recovering from a knee injury.

Reports suggest that Bradley’s ankle problem will sideline him for up to three weeks, meaning he may not be available for selection again until into May. That rules the Northern Ireland international out of Thursday’s Europa League quarter-final second leg against Atalanta, as well as upcoming Premier League encounters with Fulham, Everton and West Ham United.

Conor Bradley came off after 48 minutes on Sunday / James Gill – Danehouse/GettyImages

Bradley might also still be a doubt for the visit of Tottenham Hotspur on 5 May, which happens to be Jurgen Klopp’s penultimate game at Anfield before he leaves the club.

It points to Alexander-Arnold potentially starting against Atalanta in Bergamo, where Liverpool face an uphill task to turn the tie around after a shock 3-0 defeat in the first leg last week.

The alternative option for Klopp if he doesn’t wish to risk Alexander-Arnold from the start, especially with Bradley out and the Premier League title race heating up, is to bring the versatile Joe Gomez back into the lineup. The England international lost his place as a stand-in on the left when Andrew Robertson returned to fitness recently, but played at right-back several times earlier in the season.

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