Origi injury compounds Klopp's attack dilemma

LONDON • Liverpool's pursuit of the Europa League title has been dealt a severe blow, with Divock Origi expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks with ankle ligament damage.

The in-form Belgium international, who scored his 10th goal of the season in Wednesday's derby league defeat of Everton, was carried off at Anfield after an appalling foul by Ramiro Funes Mori.

Fears that Origi had suffered a broken ankle were allayed by manager Juergen Klopp after the 4-0 win. However, following a scan on Thursday, Liverpool fear the striker has suffered ligament damage that will rule the 21-year-old out for at least a month.

That will mean Origi missing the rest of the season - along with recent Liverpool casualties Emre Can and Jordan Henderson.

Klopp will also be faced with a problem in attack, ahead of the Premier League clash with Newcastle United today, having Daniel Sturridge as his only fit senior striker, unless he decides to play Roberto Firmino in that position.

Injury-prone Sturridge has given the clearest indication yet that he sees his long-term future at Liverpool by stating his ambition to score 100 goals for the club.

Despite being linked with a move away from Anfield, Sturridge celebrated bringing up his half-century in the rout of Everton with a vow to double his goals haul for Liverpool.

He also insisted that his total should already be 51 as he laid claim to Liverpool's fourth goal, which was credited to Philippe Coutinho despite footage indicating that the England international got an inadvertent touch on it.

"It has been a good time since I've been here and it is great to get to 50 goals," said Sturridge, who has been named on the substitutes' bench for their past three high-profile matches.

"I won't play it down and say I'm not happy. I've done so well so far with the club but it is onwards and upwards.

"It is important to understand now the next aim is 100 goals. Now 50 has gone it is on to the next game and hopefully I can add to that. It should be 51 because the fourth goal is mine."

Anfield will welcome back former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez today, with the Spaniard hopeful that his Newcastle side can avoid relegation after the 1-1 draw with Manchester City.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 23, 2016, with the headline 'Origi injury compounds Klopp's attack dilemma'. Print Edition | Subscribe