The postponement of Liverpool’s Boxing Day match against Leeds United at Anfield has had an unwanted consequence on Jurgen Klopp’s team for their bigger meeting two days later.
Andy Robertson received a three-match suspension after being sent off against Tottenham in the Reds’ last Premier League game.
The first of these was a Carabao Cup meeting against Leicester on Wednesday night, which the Reds won on penalties following a 3-3 draw, with the Scottish left-back also poised to miss Premier League matches against Leeds and Leicester on December 28.
The suspension will now apply to Liverpool’s first match of the new year, a trip to Stamford Bridge to face third-placed Chelsea.
Robertson was first given a yellow card, however after a pitchside monitor check, Paul Tierney upgraded the decision to a red. Tierney was chastised after failing to dismiss Harry Kane for a similar challenge.
Liverpool’s alternative left-back option is Kostas Tsimikas, with youngster Owen Beck likely to come in third.
The latter came off the bench in the last minutes of the shootout victory over Leicester and has made two first-team outings.
Leeds’ lineup has been decimated by injuries and now Covid tests, so the game has been rescheduled for Boxing Day, with Wolves’ match against Watford.
As the Premier League approaches the halfway point of the season, Liverpool is in second place, three points behind champions Man City.