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Lucas and Sakho Set for Return in U21s Match

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Lengthy competitive layoffs for Lucas and Mamadou Sakho are set to come to an end today, as both are in line for minutes as the U21 side face West Ham.

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Clive Mason

The last of Liverpool's injured contingent aside from Jose Enrique are Lucas and Mamadou Sakho, both of whom have missed significant time over the course of the winter. There's a case to be made that recent defensive struggles have only been compounded by their absences; no telling what Brendan Rodgers would have done with the great Steven Gerrard experiment had Lucas not been injured, and prior to suffering a hamstring injury Mamadou Sakho was among Liverpool's most consistent defenders.

Given the fireworks we've seen in attack of late it's easy to forget the importance of the duo through a handful of the squad's sturdier performances in defense, but thankfully we're staring down a return for both as they're set to face West Ham in a U21 match (along with some bonus Joao Teixeira and Brad Smith) ahead of joining the full squad for training.

Similar to the return of Joe Allen, having Lucas and Sakho available--hopefully for next weekend's trip to Old Trafford--presents quality options either off the bench or in the starting eleven. A start for either would be unlikely against Manchester United, but their availability adds steel and solidity as Liverpool get set for the crucial 10-match race to the end of the Premier League season.

Kickoff is at 7:00PM GMT/2:00PM EST, and the match can be found on LFCTV for those with the service through their television provider or online. This can serve as a matchday thread for those interested, and as an opportunity to celebrate more good news as the season's final two months gets underway.