Liverpool may be off to a perfect start in the Premier League, but they have been without world-class goalkeeper Alisson Becker for nearly the entirety of the season. The Brazilian No. 1 was injured in the first half of the Reds’ triumph over Norwich City back in MatchWeek 1.
Shortly afterwards, manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed that Alisson suffered a strained calf in the eventual 4-1 victory back in August.
In spite of Alisson’s absence, Liverpool have racked up four wins in four matches, including a 3-0 triumph over Burnley in their most recent game in late August. The Reds are atop the Premier League on 12 points, which puts them two points clear of two-time reigning league champions Manchester City. That said, City are still -250 favorites, but Liverpool aren’t far behind at +250.
The Sky Blues may still be the odds-on betting favourites to make it three consecutive domestic titles, but the Reds’ odds have improved since the beginning of the campaign. Take advantage of these betting odds if think the Reds’ could end up with the title.
Alisson Becker has reportedly stepped up his efforts in training over the past week, but Klopp is adamant that the club is in no rush to get the goalkeeper back onto the pitch for game action. The 26-year-old has reportedly been doing some additional training in the gym of late, but the club has still not put an official timetable on his return to the pitch.
In the meantime, Liverpool have gotten results with backup Adrian in goal. The 32-year-old came to Liverpool on a free transfer just before the season after spending the last handful of seasons at West Ham United. He was forced into action just a handful of days after signing, shortly after Alisson’s old backup, Simon Mignolet, signed for Club Brugge.
Liverpool goalkeeping coach John Achterberg is reportedly pleased with the progress Alisson Becker has made since sustaining the injury. Achterburg told the club’s website, “Ali has been working with Dave Rydings in the gym a lot to improve the strength and try to keep the fitness levels up. In the last few days he has been out on the pitch to do some catching and footwork, as well as small passing drills.”
Liverpool Return to Action
Liverpool were spared a bit by the recent international break, but they will resume Premier League action on September 14 against Newcastle United at Anfield. The Reds will then begin their Champions League title defense campaign with a familiar foe in Napoli three days later. Following Liverpool’s midweek trip to Italy, the team will face Chelsea once Premier League action resumes at Stamford Bridge the following weekend.
Regarding Alisson’s progress, Achterburg added, “He has made steady progress, but it is difficult to say how long it will take or how it will progress. It needs time and we cannot look too far ahead, so we take each day as it comes, see how he feels, and then make progress from that.”
The Reds’ aforementioned victory over Burnley was the club’s first clean sheet of the season. Adrian has had a few shaky moments on occasion in his time in goal, but a sturdy back line featuring the likes of Virgil Van Dijk and Joel Matip has largely held up well during Alisson’s absence.
Adrian Has Stepped Up
Achterberg has been impressed with Adrian’s overall performance. The goalkeeping coach said, “It is really difficult for anyone to replace Ali, especially when you’ve not had a chance to settle and pick everything up. He had to be straight in after maybe four or five sessions. Then we had two more sessions, played in the Super Cup final and then he got the injury, so there was not a time to do extra training.”
Adrian picked up a knock of his own when a fan accidentally collided with the player’s leg during the team’s Super Cup victory celebration. Adrian had just made a stop on a Chelsea penalty attempt during the shootout to clinch the victory for the Reds. Fortunately, Adrian was not forced to miss time with his own injury scare.