Lucas injury may cause damage to Liverpool’s Champions League bid
Although often portrayed as a scapegoat in his first two years at the club, Lucas has shown maturity to grow into the role of a combative midfielder, shouldering much of the midfield responsibility in Steven Gerrard’s continued absence at Liverpool.
Never more evident than in his display against title favourites Manchester City on Sunday, the Brazilian midfielder has become an integral part of an improving Anfield outfit that have reached the semi finals of the Carling Cup, and look good to achieve their best domestic finish in years under Kenny Dalglish.
However, priced at 5/4 for a top four finish in the Premier League odds, the Reds’ chances have been damaged by an injury sustained by their all-action midfielder in the Carling Cup quarter-final win away at Chelsea.
How much of a detriment the tough-tackling combatant’s absence will be to the side remains to be seen, but perhaps coupled with the continued vacancy of England star Gerrard, the Merseyside club are left with a rather unbalanced midfield.
Though an abundance of creative talents remains on display in the middle of the park, a lack of steel now appears evident, and could weigh the side down in their pursuit of a Champions League spot.
The Kop side are a big 28/1 to win the league with a handicap of 12 points, but punters may feel that Dalglish needs a fully fit squad to make a fist of achieving that sort of total points tally.
The length of Lucas’ injury is currently unknown, and with his manager praying that the diagnosis will be as positive as possible, it could be wise to lay off backing Liverpool until seeing how they perform in the next few games without him.
A change of playing style should not be necessitated, but players in a similar mould to Lucas, such as Jay Spearing, simply do not possess the same quality as the Selecao star, and it will be interesting to see how Liverpool progress in the coming weeks.