John Aldridge: Why Liverpool’s centre-halves will be key v Arsenal

John Aldridge discusses Liverpool's ongoing injury crisis at the back

John Aldridge says Liverpool’s centre-halves could be the decisive factor in Wednesday night’s clash against Arsenal.

Kolo Toure is Jurgen Klopp’s only recognised centre-half that is available for the visit of the Premier League leaders, although the Reds manager confirmed that Mamadou Sakho is desperate to play against the Gunners.

If Sakho can’t play and Toure is our only fit senior centre-back then I’d be concerned

John Aldridge

The charismatic German was forced to play Lucas Leiva in an unorthodox centre-half role against West Ham United and Stoke City due to Liverpool’s mounting injury problems at the back.

Former Reds striker Aldridge says he would be fearful for the home side if Klopp is forced to start Toure and Lucas at the heart of their defence against Arsene Wenger’s side.

“For the Arsenal game, I think so much hinges on the centre-back situation,” Aldridge told Liverpool Echo.

“It sounds like Mamadou Sakho should be fit and if he lines up alongside Kolo Toure then I think we have a chance.

“If Sakho can’t play and Toure is our only fit senior centre-back then I’d be concerned.

“With Arsenal’s movement in the final third, they can really hurt teams. We have to be really solid defensively to have a chance of containing them.”

Liverpool are 12 points behind current leaders Arsenal after 20 Premier League games following a 2-0 loss at West Ham earlier this month.

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Arsenal are two points clear of second-placed Leicester City ahead of their trip to Merseyside on Wednesday night.

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