Well, the first international break of the season is in the books and it seems it's the same story as it always is. England aren't impressive at home but are going through, Germany win all their games in ruthless fashion, Holland score an embarrassment of goals in qualifying before coming up short in the tournament, Portugal look pants and will seriously flirt with not qualifying at all before finding a way in to be talked up as a dark horse as tournament winner, and Spain is above it all. Did I miss anything? Oh right, Ireland have a chance to miss out in truly heartbreaking fashion once again, either in October or in the playoffs. It's their way.
But now we're back to what we really care about, at least those of us who aren't European, and that's Liverpool taking the field this weekend. Where are we after the break?
-There are a couple injury concerns. Charlie Adam limped out of Scotland's game against the Czech Republic, and isn't certain for Saturday's trip to Stoke. With the sale of Raul Meireles down the beaten path and Steven Gerrard's groin still out on a boozer, suddenly Liverpool look a little thin in the middle of midfield. If Adam can't go, perhaps Jordan Henderson slides deeper with Downing and Bellamy behind Suarez and Kuyt/Carroll. Or Jojo Shelvey could come in, keeping Bellamy to the bench, or Jay Spearing. Hey, look at those options! Maybe it's not so thin after all.
Martin Kelly also isn't a certain after limping out of the Bolton match with a hammy. He missed out on his country's tilts, but apparently has been training all week and could make the match this weekend. Glen Johnson didn't meet up with England either, and seeing as how he hasn't appeared yet he would be more of a doubt for the Stoke match. The options after that aren't appetizing, with either John Flanagan doing his best to not look overmatched (and it might not be the most imposing name but Matthew Etherington is not someone you want to leave loose), or either Martin Skrtel or Jamie Carragher shifting out right and wondering why they're so close to the touch line. Liverpool got away with Skrtel out there for a match against Bolton, but I wouldn't want to visit that well again.
-The NextGen series continues today, with Liverpool's U-19s heading to Molde. You can use this as a thread for that if you're planning on watching. It's being streamed on Liverpool FC.tv.