Will this missing star derail Liverpool’s momentum?

Daniel Sturridge picked up an injury on international duty and missed out on England’s victory over Switzerland.

However, it was Liverpool fans who were more worried and angered by his set-back as England got by just fine in the end as Danny Welbeck stepped up to the plate. Most football fans have experienced players getting injured on international duty and it’s certainly irritating, but in Liverpool’s case, how much of an impact will this injury have on their upcoming fixtures?

First of all we must stress that the extent of his injury has not been confirmed but various reports would suggest that he will be out for somewhere before 2-4 weeks. That would therefore make the England striker a major doubt for Saturday’s game versus Aston Villa and also for Liverpool’s first Champions League game against Ludogorets. As it stands he would also be a doubt for The Reds’ journey to Upton Park as they take on West Ham. On paper it’s not the trickiest spell of fixtures, and you would expect Liverpool to win all three with or without Sturridge but what do the statistics suggest about the severity of Sturridge’s absence?

‘Danny’ has played the full 90 minutes in all of Liverpool’s three fixtures so far this season and he scored on the opening day versus Southampton. He’s been relatively quiet so far compared to The Reds’ new star Raheem Sterling who is taking all the plaudits. The ex-Chelsea ace was largely shown up by a teammate last season too, despite performing fantastically as Luis Suarez did what he does.

We all know how prolific Sturridge was last year but how did Liverpool do without the 25-year-old?

Last season in all competitions, Liverpool lost four out of the 30 games when Daniel Sturridge started the match. However during Sturridge’s injury period, where he missed nine games The Reds lost three times. Liverpool may have lost considerably more in that nine game period had they not had Luis Suarez (as they don’t this year) as the Uruguayan netted a sensational 11 goals in that time.

Danny scored in most games in which he started, but when he didn’t score Liverpool lost 40% of the time. When he did score, Liverpool won 85%. Quite influential.

Interestingly Liverpool were actually less prolific when Sturridge started the game. With the English striker The Reds averaged 2.3 goals per game. However in the 10 games which he missed Suarez seemingly found his mojo easier as Liverpool’s strike rate went up to 2.7 goals per game without the ex-Man City youth star.

In summary, based on last season, Liverpool certainly perform better with Daniel Sturridge in the side however they were less prolific when he played compared to when he didn’t. One big change has happened at Liverpool since last year however, and the loss of Suarez has given The Reds a completely different feel. One thing for sure, they’ll still need someone to step up to the plate like the Uruguayan did when Danny was injured for a substantial period last season. Have they got that luxury – we’ll have to wait and see how they fare in three very winnable fixtures should Sturridge miss out through injury.

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Top 10 all-time appearances for Liverpool (all competitions)

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