Liverpool have sustained a double attacking injury blow ahead of their Crystal Palace revenge mission, with both Daniel Sturridge and Mario Balotelli affected.
However, the fact they could be without Jordan Henderson is a far more pressing concern than potentially having to start Rickie Lambert.
The Reds are 17/20 to gain a modicum of payback for last season’s title-chase ending 3-3 draw at Selhurst Park.
Yet since Brendan Rodgers’ stopped trying to sell ‘Bigfoot’ Henderson to Fulham and bestowed him with ever-present status, Liverpool have won just one game without the former Sunderland man in normal time.
The sole victory in those eight outings was a 3-2 away win against a Norwich side they’d beaten by three strikes or more in their previous three meetings.
Among the matches he missed was the Palace capitulation that has since come to be known as ‘Crystanbul’ in Scouse football folklore.
Sturridge may offer the threat of goals, but without Henderson’s energetic midfield presence the platform necessary to bring the striker into the game is eroded.
Having not missed a league fixture for any reason other than suspension last season, the 24-year-old also provides an understanding of what made the side tick last term that none of his teammates can any longer rival.
The likes of Philippe Coutinho or Lucas were not relied upon to the same degree, while Steven Gerrard seems burdened by both the mental toll of last season’s near miss and the physical effects of the passing years.
According to the Liverpool Echo Henderson is a doubt for the trip to Selhurst Park and, given his unparalleled importance to the side, it would be unwise to rush him back.
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