Liverpool’s crunch clash with Chelsea this upcoming Sunday has come at a crucial moment in the title race. Jürgen Klopp’s squad sit a point behind the Blues in the table, although Liverpool have a game hand.
However, a combination of holiday scheduling, injuries, and a rash of covid cases have thrown both teams out rhythm in recent weeks, allowing Manchester City and their two world class XIs to create some separation amidst the chaos.
The Reds have been inching back towards their own first choice XI as a number of key faces were pictured in training on Thursday. However, Thiago, out since the Tottenham match nearly two weeks ago with covid and a minor knock, has not progressed enough and faces a fitness race to face Chelsea.
Alisson and the recently returned Roberto Firmino were also not pictured, although it is possible that both simply trained separately from the group. The health of Liverpool’s number 9, still recuperating from a hamstring injury, will be particularly crucial as Sunday will be the last match before strike partners Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah leave for the African Cup of Nations tournament running for nearly a month starting January 9th.
Both Liverpool and Chelsea have struggled for form in recent weeks, each only taking one win from their last three while City have banged in 11 goals in the same time frame. Both sides will be eager to go into the league’s winter break with a win and keep the pressure on the leaders.