Now that the winter FIFA World Cup in Qatar is over, we can finally turn our attention back to Liverpool’s season. Despite the break, it seems that the Reds are picking up right where they left off — namely dealing with a multitude of injuries from match to match.
Liverpool are jumping right back into serious fixture congestion to top things off. With a 3-2 loss to Manchester City in the fourth round of the EFL cup, Jürgen Klopp and Co have to turn their attentions to a Boxing Day clash in the Premier League.
The German manager provided an update to some of the players who were dealing with injuries and illness, as well as some players who were given some time off after the World Cup. During the match, James Milner had to be withdrawn with an injury, and Roberto Firmino didn’t even make the squad after taking a knock in training. Both players are likely to be missing for at least a couple of matches.
“Millie didn’t get better since then – he will be out for a couple of games,” said Klopp of James Milner.
“Same for Bobby. Bobby, it’s like this, he is already on the better side of it, even when it is only a few days ago, but it’s not a major thing, so we will look day by day with him.”
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain returned from illness to feature in the second half against Manchester City, but the bug seems to be going around the squad now, including Trent Alexander-Arnold.
“Ox is fine, Ox was ill, like Trent, some of the staff as well. That’s why we have to be careful in the moment, absolutely, like everybody, I think it’s going around. That makes planning really difficult for the next game because we were 100 per cent clear what we want to do against City and then you have to change in the last second pretty much, that’s not cool but it’s the situation and that might happen against Aston Villa as well so we need to be flexible, stay flexible.”
Thankfully, it seems like there could be reinforcements for the defense soon. Trent Alexander-Arnold is still working his way from illness, but could be in contention for Monday’s match while Virgil van Dijk should be a full go. Ibrahima Konaté is also expected to return to training next week.
“Apart from that, Virg trained now obviously completely normal so will be there. Trent hopefully will be better; he was not part of the full session but of parts, let’s see how that develops until tomorrow. That’s it.”