Just how fragile will Liverpool be without Virgil van Dijk and how will they stop Tottenham and Jose Mourinho from taking the Premier League title?
There wasn’t a definitive answer with the awesome Fabinho plugging the gaps in the their defence.
But now, with the versatile Brazilian joining the Dutchman on the sidelines, we’ll see just how Jurgen Klopp and his Premier League champions go this season.
When Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford flew into Van Dijk’s knee, I knew there was big trouble on the horizon.
The Liverpool rock buckled under his weight as Pickford recklessly threw his body into Van Dijk’s leg.
How VAR didn’t send Pickford off will forever remain a mystery.
But one thing that we can be sure about is that Liverpool will sukkel big time without their lynchpin.
Last season, it was easy to write off Manchester City once Aymeric Laporte was ruled out most of the campaign.
Pep Guardiola was low on reliable backup at centreback with Vincent Kompany deciding to end his time at the club before the season started.
John Stones has never looked like getting a run in the side, while Nicolas Otamendi was always a liability and City couldn’t wait to get rid of him in the deal that brought them Ruben Dias.
Liverpool are in a similar position now as their defensive crisis deepens.
Along with Van Dijk and Joe Gomez, Joel Matip is the only other senior centreback available to Klopp after Dejan Lovren was let go at the end of last term.
With Matip an injury concern, Klopp only has kids to turn to – Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams.
It’s going to be a long season for Liverpool and their fans as they watch their defence resemble Bambi on ice.
The big question now is which club is going to take advantage of the situation?
It’s easy to say that Spurs look likely to challenge for a first league title since the 1960s – they have three-time Prem title winner Mourinho as manager and Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son up front.
But then you will be recklessly writing off Everton, who look like a machine under Carlo Ancelotti.
Without any European distractions, the Toffees could get stuck in and make it taai for the rest of the league.
Then there’s City, who still have Pep at the helm and a squad full of winners.
Did I hear someone say Chelsea? OK, let’s throw in Frank Lampard and his sparkling new squad.
And while we’re at it, sommer gooi Manchester United in the mix. With VAR, they are sure to win a penalty at least every other game.
The Premier League was always going to be unpredictable this season with shortened turnaround times between campaigns and Covid-19.
With European nations like Germany and France going back into lockdown this week, the coronavirus pandemic is still on the march.
And we’ve seen Liverpool and City affected by quarantines already this season. Who’s to say that it won’t hit at more crucial times, when trophies are at stake.
I’m not trying to say that football is more important than saving lives, just that it will affect your team’s chances of winning if star players miss games.
Anyway, Klopp has some big rabbits to pull out his cap if he wants to win back-to-back league title with Van Dijk out.
Or will the trophy just be making a short trip to Goodison Park at the end of the season?