Liverpool suffer injury scare on eve of Sheffield United clash with six players already ruled out
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Ben Doak suffered an injury scare as Liverpool under-21s crashed out of the EFL Trophy at the hands of Bradford City.
The young Reds suffered a 4-0 loss at Valley Parade in the last 32 of the competition, having moved out of the group stage for the first time since entering the competition 2019.
League Two Bradford powered past Liverpool, with Tyler Smith opening the scoring before Lewis Koumas was sent off for the visitors. Football League veterans Andy Cook and Vadine Oliver were on target for the Bantams in the second half before Smith doubled his tally in stoppage-time.
To compound Liverpool's frustrations, Doak limped off in the second period. The winger, who was the Reds' brightest player, suffered a setback with Liverpool's Academy press officer Andy Kelly posting on Twitter: "Ben Doak hobbles off the pitch to be replaced by Frauendorf. He’s been the Reds’ biggest threat tonight. Looks like an ankle problem so fingers crossed it’s nothing serious. 3-0
"Ben Doak walks down the tunnel unaided and seems to be moving much better than when coming off the pitch. Positive sign."
On the loss to Bradford, under-21s head coach Barry Lewtas told the club website: “It was always going to be a tough game, so to try to play most of it with 10 made it even harder. It makes it a little bit harder to judge certain moments.
“Overall, obviously we’re disappointed because going down to 10 men in that manner kind of killed us really. Disappointed but within there, there was lots of character. I thought the boys competed, especially at the end of the first half, I thought we were going to equalise, we got in on their goal a few times. I just think in end we probably just didn’t have enough, especially with 10 men.”
Doak's involvement against Bradford meant he wouldn't have been involved in Jurgen Klopp's side's Premier League trip to Sheffield United today (19;30 GMT). Liverpool will be missing Joel Matip, who is set to be sidelined for a prolonged period with a knee injury along with Alisson Becker (hamstring), Diogo Jota (muscle), Andy Robertson (shoulder), Stefan Bajcetic (calf) and Thiago Alcantara (hip).