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Reina Uncertain but Allen Will Face Southampton

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With an important match against relegation-threatened Southampton on Saturday, Pepe Reina's fitness remains in doubt. Joe Allen, though, will be involved despite requiring surgery to repair his injured shoulder.

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Clive Brunskill

After missing out on last Sunday's win over Tottenham with a thigh strain piked up in training, Pepe Reina's availability remains in doubt for Saturday's match against Southampton.

"He hasn't trained so much this week, but he's coming along better and had a real good response today to some of the work," said manager Brendan Rodgers. "We'll find out by tomorrow for definite if he's going to be fit."

If he isn't ready to go, it would be another injury blow for a goalkeeper who in 2011-12 was in the midst of a consecutive appearance streak that topped 150 league matches. Now, after being Liverpool's most reliable starter in past seasons, he has already missed six matches this terms.

With Brad Jones once again putting in a solid shift covering for Reina in league action there might be a little less pressure on Reina returning to action immediately than would have been the case previously, but with Liverpool needing to end the year on title-winning form to even have a chance of returning to Europe it would still be a blow.

Meanwhile, following Joe Allen being named to the Welsh squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifying matches against Scotland and Croatia, Rodgers confirmed that the injured midfielder will be involved against Southampton.

"It's something that he's been playing through," said Rodgers of Allen and his injury. "My comment last week was just to make it aware that he'll probably need an operation. Joe has been fighting through that for a few years, to be honest. He's had a problem with it, but it hasn't been so bad.

"But since October, he's really felt it and [surgery] is something that at the right time we'll look to get organised. At this moment he's involved—and he'll be involved with the Welsh squad. We'll assess and analyse it after that."

With Allen likely to need three months to fully recover and pre-season training kicking off in July, that the necessary surgery will follow his involvement with Wales over the next two weeks appears increasingly likely.

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