An actual Liverpool match happens this weekend, if you didn’t know. An actual Premier League game, not a friendly, not a made-up, tournament-friendly fusion, but a real honest-to-goodness match, in London, against Arsenal, with points at stake and professional people with microphones getting very excited.
Jürgen Klopp will have a preferred starting eleven in his mind for Sunday’s kickoff, but injuries always have a role to play before any football curtain call. And Klopp and the Melwood staff will be assessing the fitness of Daniel Sturridge and James Milner over the next couple of days, before filling out the match roster in pen.
“For some players,” Klopp said, speaking of Sturridge, “the preseason will be longer as they have not been back as long. It makes sense to extend the preseason for these players.”
To say that Daniel Sturridge has had a rough go of it with injuries would be an understatement and the Liverpool striker will be doing everything he can to be on the Emirates pitch this weekend, to start the season off with confidence and goals. But Klopp will not risk any set-backs to Sturridge’s availability.
“He (Sturridge) could train today 100%, after this I will make a decision.”
The news on James Milner is more encouraging. The utility man was taken off against Barcelona and left Wembley on crutches.
“With Milly, it’s not too serious,” said the Liverpool manager. “It’s a bruise in the heel. If he says it’s a little bit too painful, then for sure (it’s an injury).”
But the veteran, English workhorse is said to be quickly on the mend and may just squeeze into the Arsenal match day squad.
Dejan Lovren and Marko Grujic have been training as normal, with no issues after their own preseason brushes with injury. Both will be available for selection, with Lovren certainly slated for a start in London on Sunday.