The club confirmed that Virgil Van Dijk, Curtis Jones—only recently returned to training following an extended injury layoff—and Fabinho all received their test results in morning training and would be forced to miss the match.
While the Reds were fortunate that were able to field enough players to face the Magpies, Jürgen Klopp doesn’t expect the respite to last long:
“We hope [the outbreak has been contained],” Klopp said in his post-match press conference. “The situation is difficult for us, for the whole world. We pretty much woke up this morning and had three positive cases.”
“The process we follow now at the training ground is that before we enter the training ground, we do a lateral flow test and go back in the car. We wait for the result and in these moments, we had three positive tests. It’s obviously not too cool.
“We wait for confirmation, because there is still the possibility of a false positive, but for today, we couldn’t wait for that.
“I had to make the decision to send the boys home, so we were three players out, two of them would have obviously started today.
“It was of course not a reason to cancel a game tonight, or even ask for it. We will see how it now develops.”
The outbreak is part of a wider surge of cases hitting the Premier League and much of the world with the highly contagious Omicron variant forced cancellations of six league matches in one day.
“This virus is now around us so long that it’s not really likely that it will stay at three,” Klopp continued. “The boys don’t have a lot of spare time to go wherever where they could pick it up.
“All of them are fully vaccinated, two of them already had the booster, and it still can happen. That’s just how it is.
“But we have a really, really good chance that the boys get through it now without proper symptoms.
“So far, they don’t have any symptoms, they were more surprised than us that they had it. But that’s what you have to accept and that’s what we do. Hopefully they are quickly back again.”
Liverpool are scheduled to face Tottenham this upcoming Sunday, but with more cases expected to come for the Reds, and the Spurs themselves having had their last three games amidst their own outbreak, this fixture also might be in doubt.