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Chris Wilder bemoans injury problems ahead of Liverpool clash

:Headline: Chris Wilder bemoans injury problems ahead of Liverpool clash:
Jack O'Connell, Lys Mousset and John Fleck are lengthy absentees for Sheffield United.
Sports Mole

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder believes the injuries to his key players is a bigger blow than Virgil van Dijk's absence for Liverpool.

The Premier League champions are set to be without their talismanic central defender for a lengthy period after he damaged an anterior cruciate ligament during the Merseyside derby.

Van Dijk requires knee surgery after being clattered by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford last weekend.

However, ahead of the Blades' trip to Anfield to play Liverpool on Saturday, Wilder has injury issues of his own, with Jack O'Connell (knee) likely to be out for the rest of the season and Lys Mousset (toe) and John Fleck (back) several weeks away from making a return.

Chris Wilder has injury problems at Sheffield United (Peter Powell/PA)

Wilder revealed when he expects striker Mousset to step up his recovery, before putting the two club's injury problems into perspective.

"We are hoping to get Lys back on the grass, that's about six to eight weeks away, while John Fleck will hopefully be back next month," said the Blades boss.

"There's three big players missing for us, with Jack O'Connell probably out for the season too, but it's all relative. There are always players that are going to be out injured, and you just have to get on with it and cope as best you can.

Jack O'Connell, right, is a long-term absentee (PA)

"But us losing O'Connell, Fleck and Mousett are huge blows for us and I would say bigger blows to us (than) what Van Dijk is to Liverpool, in my opinion, relatively, as we look as a football club.

"We all have to go through these situations but there are still some world class players (at Liverpool) and though they have lost one world class player for a lengthy period of time, they have other world class players to come in.

"We all want our best and most consistent team out there as injuries affects consistency and rhythm, it certainly has for us, and it doesn't make the task any easier. Their performance levels didn't dip last night (in the Champions League against Ajax) and I'm not expecting it to on Saturday."

Rhian Brewster, pictured here coming on against Fulham, is in contention for his first Blades start (Gareth Copley/PA)

Record signing Rhian Brewster could make his full debut for Sheffield United against his former club.

The 20-year-old striker, who joined the Blades earlier this month in a deal that could be worth up to £23million, made his first appearance for Wilder's side as a second-half substitute in the draw with Fulham.

Max Lowe had to be withdrawn with a head injury in that game and the Blades are awaiting a doctor's report before deciding if he travels to Merseyside.

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Tottenham HotspurSpurs106312191221
2Liverpool106312217521
3Chelsea1054122101219
4Leicester CityLeicester106041814418
5Southampton105231916317
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves105231111017
7Everton105141917216
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd95131616016
9Aston Villa85031911815
10Manchester CityMan City94321511415
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham94231510514
12Leeds UnitedLeeds104241517-214
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle104241215-314
14Arsenal104151012-213
15Crystal Palace104151215-313
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton102441416-210
17Fulham102171118-77
18West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom10136718-116
19Burnley9126417-135
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd10019416-121
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3Aberdeen148332016427
4Hibernian157532116526
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7St Johnstone154471319-616
8Motherwell134361518-315
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