As we have come to know, the International Break can be a bit of a jerk. And this iteration of the break brings with it renewed fitness concerns to no less than 4 first team members. Each of Naby Keita, Virgil Van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mane picked up knocks while on international duty. This is all on top of knowing that James Milner had a minor issue picked up just before the break.
Calling this a crisis, considering the names involved, wouldn’t be quite the hyperbolic statement. Thankfully, then, we have a bit of good news.
During Klopp’s pre-match press conference, the gaffer revealed that 4 of the 5 injured stars are still eligible for selection this weekend. Klopp indicated that, as it stands, the only one of the group expected to miss the match is Naby Keita, who looks to need a few matches off in order to get right. Right now, the plan is for the other four players to be re-examined ahead of the match and to make a final decision at that time.
This is certainly great news even if we might expect to see a bit of rotation against Huddersfield. There are clearly no easy points to be gained in the Premier League - and Klopp’s own comments indicating a desire to avoid what could be a “trap game” scenario - but if there were a slate of Premier League weeks to be able to rest and rehab, it would be against Huddersfield and Cardiff City.
Still, the aim is to win each match and this news can only be a positive. Coupled with reports of Adam Lallana’s return to full fitness and Klopp’s comments indicating that Fabinho’s full debut in the Premier League is in the offing, Liverpool’s heralded depth looks to be as close to full strength as possible. And coming so closely on the heels of these injury reports, I’m sure it is a relief to Reds fans all over.
Here’s hoping that the last few hours ahead of tomorrow’s match yields more good news, as the welcomed sight of the International Break in our collective rearview window.