Lallana, Shaw, Lambert, Lovren, Chambers all left Saints in 2014.

Knee injury will keep Lallana out of Liverpool’s Premier League opener

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Suffering a lateral collateral ligament injury during Friday training, Liverpool attacking midfielder Adam Lallana will miss the start of the Premier League season, according to the club. Though no recovery timetable has been announced, surgery has been ruled out, though the former Southampton star could be facing a six-week layoff.

Per England’s Press Association, that’s the recovery time for this level of LCL injury, a period that could sideline him for the first three games of the Premier League season. Though Lallana’s recovery could beat that timetable, Liverpool expects him to miss his former club’s visit to Anfield.

From Liverpool’s website:

Liverpool have today confirmed Adam Lallana has suffered a knee injury in training and is set to miss the start of the new season.

The midfielder, who moved to Anfield from Southampton earlier this month, sustained a knock to his lateral collateral ligament during a session at the Reds’ Harvard University training base in Boston.

Lallana has been assessed by Liverpool’s medical staff and does not require surgery.

Lallana moved from Southampton to Liverpool at the beginning of the month, part of an exodus from St. Marys that’s also cost Saints head coach Mauricio Pochettino, forward Ricky Lambert and left back Luke Shaw. Defender Dejan Lovren is also expected to leave the clubs, with midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin also the subject of transfer rumors. A much-changed Southampton team will take the field at Anfield.

Lallana, part of that exodus, will witness that new team from the stands, an absence that could prove a nuisance, particularly for a team trying to replace its best player. With Luis Suárez no longer on the Reds’ books, manager Brendan Rodgers must revamp his attack, and while Lambert has been brought in to do so (with French international Loïc Remy potentially on the way), Lallana’s $42.8 million capture was the team’s biggest offseason move.

Coming off a nine-goal, six-assist season, Lallana is destined to have an impact on Liverpool, but thanks to today’s injury, that impact will not happen until after the season starts. If the normal LCL recovery time holds up, Lallana may not make debut until September.

“Overweight” Costa comes to Mourinho’s defense

Diego Costa, Chelsea FC
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Diego Costa says he and his Chelsea teammates are to blame for Chelsea’s horrid start to the 2015-16 Premier League season.

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Speaking Thursday, during a bit of downtime over the current international break (Costa was left out of Vicente del Bosque’s squad for Spain’s final two EURO 2016 qualifiers this week), Costa placed the majority of blame at the feet of the entire team, but went on to most harshly critique himself for coming into the season unfocused and “overweight.”

Costa, on his lack of fitness and form to begin the season — quotes from the Guardian:

“We know we’re not in the form we were supposed to be at the beginning of the season. We need to blame the players because we came back from holiday very confident, thinking we could go back into how it was last season, and then realized the team was already in a bad situation.

“I’m going to be very honest: maybe a few weeks ago, five or six weeks ago, I was not on top of my game. At least physically. We talk within the players and we know that, maybe at the beginning, we were not 100 percent as we were supposed to be when we got here. I got injured at the end of last season and then I went on holiday. Maybe I got out of my diet and, when I came back, I was not the way I was supposed to be. I was a little bit overweight. That affected my game. You can be selfish and blame it on the manager but I’m not going to do that. I’m responsible 100%, and so are the other guys.

Given that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said on Thursday he doesn’t quite know what’s wrong with the defending Premier League champions, hearing someone — anyone — speak up and explain the club’s worst start to a season in 37 years will surely be a welcome sound to any Blues supporter’s ears.

[ MORE: Liverpool appoint Klopp as manager | Allardyce to Sunderland? ]

Costa, who is eligible to return from suspension next weekend when Aston Villa visit Stamford Bridge, has scored just one goal in league play this season (six appearances) after scoring 20 in 26 games last season.

Sam Allardyce to open talks with Sunderland

Sam Allardyce, West Ham United FC
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Now that Liverpool have selected and named their new manager, it appears Sunderland are finally ready to move forward with their own managerial search. (That’s clearly a joke, because it implies Liverpool and Sunderland ever duke it out for the same managerial candidate.)

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Anyway, the Black Cats will have to hire someone to replace the recently-departed Dick Advocaat at some point. We all knew that, despite the fact he’s probably earned a shot at that level, Bob Bradley was never really going to be considered for the job. With that in mind, if you’re not going to endear yourself to the entire United States of America with this hire, you might as well go for the best unemployed manager who’ll actually consider your approach.

That’s what Sunderland chairman Ellis Short appears to have done, as it was reported Thursday that despite an initial reluctance from Sam Allardyce — let’s be honest, he actually was holding out hope for the Liverpool job — the 60-year-old most recently in charge of West Ham United was willing and ready to enter into negotiations with the northeastern club.

One of the major sticking points during Sunderland’s courting of Allardyce is expected to be his demand for autonomy in the transfer market as well as a sizable transfer budget to sign his own players during the January window.

[ MORE: Advocaat: Sunderland squad too thin, chairman to blame ]

Allardyce seems like the no. 1 guy you’d like to bring in to steady a capsized ship — cough Sunderland cough — in any situation. Not only does he have a successful track record in the Premier League, but he’s the kind of no-nonsense leader a club like Sunderland so desperately needs as they find themselves in yet another relegation battle just eight games into the new season.

Short hopes to have Allardyce signed, sealed and delivered when the Premier League returns to action next weekend. In that event, Allardyce’s first game in charge of Sunderland would be a trip to West Bromwich Albion. His first home fixture? Home to Tyne-Wear derby rivals Newcastle United, a club whose boisterous fanbase still holds a great deal of disdain for Big Sam. Sometimes the football gods really are looking out for us.