In the post-match press conference following Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Bournemouth on Saturday, Jurgen Klopp provided a fitness update on Jordan Henderson and Andy Robertson when he said (via liverpoolfc.com),
“What I hear, it should be possible [for them to be available for Atletico]. If we then do it, I don’t know.
“Robbo should not be a problem; he only missed today pretty much.
“He finished the session yesterday and afterwards felt something, but it was then nothing in the end.
“Hendo was out, I don’t know exactly in this moment, but I think he will train tomorrow. If that looks good, I have to make a decision.
“For sure [it will be good to have him back] and some others as well.”
Henderson has not featured for the Reds since suffering a hamstring injury against Atletico Madrid in the first-leg of their UEFA Champions League last 16 tie. His absence has been felt by everyone associated with the Merseyside club over the past couple of weeks. Liverpool’s incredible Premier League unbeaten run came to an end against Watford and Klopp’s men also got dumped out of the FA Cup after they lost to Chelsea by a 2-0 scoreline in midweek during Henderson’s absence.
In contrast, Robertson has only been rested against the Cherries as a precaution and so he is expected to be a nailed-on starter in midweek. James Milner did well to fill the shoes of the Scotland international at the left-back position on Saturday. Now that Robertson is set to be back in action in the Champions League, the Liverpool supporters will be breathing a sigh of relief.
Henderson And Robertson: A Statistical Overview
Henderson has played in 34 matches for the European champions this term, scoring three goals and providing five assists in all competitions. His numbers have been quite impressive because he has often been used as a holding midfielder during this campaign. The 29-year-old has averaged 2.0 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 1.0 shots and 1.2 key passes per game in the Champions League which explains why the Reds need their captain back for this upcoming European clash versus Diego Simeone’s men (stats via whoscored).
On the other hand, Robertson has been one of the most consistent performers for the Merseyside giants this season. The 25-year-old has made 37 appearances for Klopp’s side this term, registering two goals and seven assists on all fronts which goes to highlight how influential he can be going forward.
Robertson has averaged 1.3 tackles, 0.7 interceptions and 0.7 clearances in every 90 minutes of European football this season (stats via whoscored). Unlike his full-back partner, Trent Alexander-Arnold, the stats prove that the Scottish full-back is an accomplished defender inside his own half. However, he will be in for a tough test in midweek while up against Atletico’s Ángel Correa or Koke out on the wide areas.
The upcoming European encounter versus the Madrid giants could prove to be a season-defining game for the Reds as they are currently just nine points away from the league title. Klopp’s side has also been knocked out of the FA Cup and the League Cup. So without Champions League football, Liverpool might end up having nothing to play for in the final few weeks of this campaign, especially if they can wrap up the league title by the end of next month.
If Selected, What Will The Hard-working Duo Add To Klopp’s Team In Midweek?
Having both Henderson and Robertson back will be a huge blessing for the Merseyside outfit. The English midfielder is a natural leader who can gel the Liverpool first-teamers together into playing well on the pitch. He can also spread the ball well and is not afraid to pick out the runs of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane on the counter.
Robertson can use his pace to get to the by-line and deliver some inviting crosses into the opposition penalty box. He has also developed an excellent understanding with Sadio Mane down the left flank. The Scotland skipper is a tireless runner and will track back when Atletico are trying to hit Liverpool on the break.