Comparing the injury records of the Premier League’s top six this season
Injuries are part and parcel of any league campaign, but which of the top six Premier League clubs has suffered the most so far this season?
Every club is forced to deal with an injury crisis at some stage, but it certainly isn’t always the case that these things even themselves out over the course of a season.
We’ve taken a look at the top six sides in the Premier League this season to see who’s suffered the most from absent players and whether or not they had the depth to cover for them.
Liverpool have been fortunate in that a lot of their most influential first-team players – Alisson, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane – have barely missed a game between them.
The front three have missed a combined three games through injury, Alisson has played every minute of every game, while Van Dijk has missed just 35 minutes, brought off as a precaution against Southampton when Liverpool were already 3-0 up.
Liverpool have kept seven consecutive clean sheets at home in the Premier League for the first time since the 2006/07 season (9 games).
Virgil van Dijk has played every single minute. pic.twitter.com/hV0fIw8wVR
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 25, 2018
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has missed the entirety of the season so far, but this was something known well in advance and prepared for with the signing of Xherdan Shaqiri. The Swiss international has been available almost throughout the entire season until recently.
At the back, however, Liverpool have struggled to find a consistent partner for Van Dijk, with Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren being sidelined for six, 16 and 18 games respectively – although, fortunately, at least one has usually been available at any given time.
Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been sidelined for six games.
Pep Guardiola has had to contend with a lot of injury issues this season, but having arguably the deepest squad in Premier League history has allowed him to manage the situation well, with City remaining in contention for four trophies as the season nears its end.
One such example is Claudio Bravo missing almost the entire campaign but it not really mattering with Ederson fit to play every Premier League game, while other peripheral figures like Eliquiam Mangala and Philippe Sandler have also been absent through injury.
Benjamin Mendy has missed two-thirds of City’s 30 league games so far, but just like last season they’ve been equipped to deal with it, with versatile options Oleksandr Zinchenko and Fabian Delph stepping in.
Elsewhere, it’s only been the odd game or short spell out for important first-team players like David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane, while Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva have been available throughout.
Fernandinho has been sidelined for a total of five games, two of which were the back-to-back defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester shortly before Christmas.
Man City with and without Fernandinho:
Win percentage with Fernandinho: 74.1%
City also score more and concede less when Fernandinho is in the team
[I'll upload a video on Man City tomorrow in which I'll discuss in detail Man City's strengths and weaknesses] pic.twitter.com/qL2cvsSvjd
— Nouman (@nomifooty) March 22, 2019
Kevin De Bruyne, their Player of the Year on the way to the record-breaking title win last season, has suffered various setbacks, only fit enough to start seven Premier League games so far, while Vincent Kompany has customarily missed spells of the season.
Not adding anyone to a small squad, chock full of players that went deep into the World Cup, looks to be taking its toll on Spurs.
Harry Kane ended up missing just four Premier League games through injury, as the squad options – Heung-min Son and Fernando Llorente – stepped up in his absence, but Spurs haven’t been so lucky in other areas.
The midfield has often looked particularly short, with Victor Wanyama and Eric Dier facing spells on the sidelines, while Moussa Dembele missed 11 straight games before being sold to China in January. The availability and general all-round improvement of Moussa Sissoko has been important.
At the back, Jan Verthonghen (11 games) and Davinson Sanchez (seven games) have each spent considerable spells out, as has young prospect Juan Foyth; they’ve been fortunate that Toby Alderweireld has been fit and available throughout.
Hugo Lloris missed four games earlier in the season, while his back-up Michel Vorm also suffered an injury when he came in.
Where to start?
The good news is that having Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fit throughout has meant the long-term injury suffered by Danny Welbeck hasn’t been felt too hard in terms of striking options.
Aaron Ramsey, Alex Iwobi and Lucas Torreira have also been fortunate enough to avoid anything before a niggle. But that’s about it.
As well as Welbeck, Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Konstantinos Mavropanos have all suffered season-ending injuries, while Mesut Ozil, Nacho Monreal, Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have been forced to miss significant chunks of the season.
The defence has creaked under the pressure, especially with Laurent Koscielny not returning from his own horror injury until mid-December.
Manchester United haven’t been without their injury troubles this season, but key players like David de Gea, Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, Victor Lindelof, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku have been fit enough to provide a sturdy spine.
Alexis Sanchez has suffered prolonged spells out, but given his form since joining Arsenal, it could have been a lot worse.
Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Chris Smalling, Jesse Lingard, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones have all suffered injuries with various degrees of severity – with Herrera’s time out especially damaging – while Antonio Valencia and Marcos Rojo have been practically non-existent.
Accumulatively, it’s not been an especially unfortunate season for United, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had to deal with something of a crisis, with Herrera, Martial, Mata and Lingard all out of action at the same time during a crucial part of the season.
As has often been the case for Chelsea in recent years, the key members of their starting XI have been fit for pretty much the entirety of the Premier League season, while Maurizio Sarri has used the cups to rest them.
Things they’ve had to contend with: Danny Drinkwater and Mario Van Ginkel being unavailable, the odd game out for Eden Hazard, Pedro and Mateo Kovacic. That’s pretty much it.
No injuries for Chelsea
Our medical department doesn't get the credit they deserve. 👏👏
— CarefreeYouth (@CarefreeYouth) March 6, 2019