Liverpool hit by defensive blow for visit of Leeds United as Jurgen Klopp battles Covid absences

Liverpool's Andy Robertson will miss his side's hosting of Leeds United on Boxing Day as the Reds battle a number of Covid cases.

By Joe Urquhart
Monday, 20th December 2021, 10:22 am
Updated Monday, 20th December 2021, 10:24 am

The Scotland captain was sent off in a hard-fought 2-2 Premier League draw with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Robertson was initially shown a yellow card for his second half tackle on Emerson Royal before seeing his booking upgraded to a red card via a VAR review by referee Paul Tierney.

He will now serve a three-match ban which will rule him out of Jurgen Klopp's next three games across all domestic competitions.

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Ahead of the clash with Spurs, Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara tested positive for Covid and is expected to be absent for Leeds.

Club captain Jordan Henderson also missed the fixture in the capital through illness though returned a negative result for the virus.

Thiago became the Anfield club's fourth coronavirus case in recent days with Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones already isolating.

It remains to be seen whether any of those will be available to face the Whites in the top flight later this week.

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson is sent off against Tottenham Hotspur. Pic: Getty

Liverpool boss Klopp insisted that any potential Premier League circuit breaker would only be useful if players were to use the time to get vaccinated against the virus amid a raft of postponements over the weekend.

“I don’t know, if someone tells me that (a circuit breaker) is the solution, I’m in 100 per cent,” said Klopp, after the 2-2 draw at Tottenham. “For us it looks like at the moment we have no cases in the staff, the staff got the booster five or six weeks ago.

“If everybody gets boosted and it is two weeks at home and we have no more cases then fine, let’s go home and wait for that. But if we just stop it and don’t do anything, then I don’t see the benefit.”

Nathaniel Phillips (head), Divock Origi (knee) and goalkeeper Adrian (calf) remain injury concerns for the Reds ahead of the hosting of Leeds while long-term absentee Harvey Elliott continues his recovery from a leg break, which occurred at Elland Road in the reverse fixture.