Why only 7 Liverpool players could go to World Cup – and how that compares to rivals

Why only 7 Liverpool players could go to World Cup – and how that compares to rivals

With less than two months to go until Liverpool’s season is paused for the World Cup, there are just seven members of Jurgen Klopp‘s squad who look likely to make the trip to Qatar as things stand.

On Monday, news of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s omission from England’s squad to face Germany led to plenty of conversation as to whether the Liverpool right-back will be included in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man World Cup squad.

As of today, he certainly seems to have his work cut out, given the fact he has been excluded from England’s squad for their final match before the tournament.

If Alexander-Arnold does miss out, there may only be seven Liverpool players who are involved in Qatar.

So, as things stand, which players look likeliest to be involved at the World Cup, and how does this all compare to Liverpool’s Premier League rivals?

 

The 7 Liverpool players who look likely to go

The Netherlands' Virgil van Dijk reacts after the final whistle during the international friendly match at the Amsterdam ArenA

The Netherlands' Virgil van Dijk reacts after the final whistle during the international friendly match at the Amsterdam ArenA

Let’s start with the Brazilians. Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino were all included in Tite’s squad for their September internationals with Ghana and Tunisia, and will fancy their chances of being involved in Qatar.

Firmino is probably the biggest question mark, with the likes of Arsenal‘s in-form pair Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus waiting in the wings if Liverpool’s No. 9 doesn’t make the cut.

Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk will be involved, with Louis van Gaal’s side in good form heading into the tournament.

Assuming Alexander-Arnold misses out, Jordan Henderson is likely to be the only Liverpool player in England’s squad.

The final two who look certainties to be involved in Qatar are Portugal’s Diogo Jota and Uruguay’s Darwin Nunez.

 

Who could miss out?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Friday, November 12, 2021: England's substitute Trent Alexander­Arnold during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifying Group I match between England and Albania at Wembley Stadium. England won 5-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

LONDON, ENGLAND - Friday, November 12, 2021: England's substitute Trent Alexander­Arnold during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifying Group I match between England and Albania at Wembley Stadium. England won 5-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If Alexander-Arnold isn’t included in Southgate’s final squad, his absence will certainly be the headline omission.

What may work in his favour is the fact teams can name 26 players in their squads, as opposed to 23 in previous World Cups.

Ibrahima Konate looks unlikely to be included in France’s squad having missed the start of the season through injury, while Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain haven’t played for England for some time.

Despite his recent return to fitness, Thiago was not included in Spain’s squad for their September internationals, which would suggest he’s unlikely to make the trip to Qatar, and the tournament will probably come a year or two early for the likes of Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho.

Arthur last appeared for Brazil in March but was not included in their most recent squad.

Then there are those whose nations have not qualified or who have retired from international duty. Caoimhin Kelleher, Joel Matip, Andy Robertson, Kostas Tsimikas, James Milner, Naby Keita, Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz will all be watching on from afar.

 

What about Liverpool’s Premier League rivals?

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 30, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (R) and Manchester City's manager Josep 'Pep' Guardiola during the FA Community Shield friendly match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at the King Power Stadium. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 30, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (R) and Manchester City's manager Josep 'Pep' Guardiola during the FA Community Shield friendly match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at the King Power Stadium. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Could the fact Liverpool have just a handful of players who will be involved at the World Cup be a positive thing? Possibly.

Man City, for example, will probably have around 16 players in Qatar, including the likes of Ederson, Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden. All key players.

It’s a similar story for Chelsea, who could have up to 14 or 15 players at the World Cup. Edouard Mendy, Thiago Silva, Kalidou Koulibaly, Reece James, N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount, Kai Havertz and Raheem Sterling will be among them.

Current league leaders Arsenal are in a more similar predicament to Liverpool. Aaron Ramsdale, William Saliba, Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Jesus could all be involved.

Antonio Conte’s Tottenham could have around 10 of their squad featuring in Qatar, and Man United up to 12.

Compared to their rivals, Liverpool may get off lightly, and that could have a huge knock-on effect for the rest of the season.

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