New Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has been handed a boost today, with attackers Roberto Firmino and Christian Benteke and centre half Dejan Lovren all being ruled fit to face Rubin Kazan on Thursday evening. Daniel Sturridge remains a doubt after missing Tottenham on the weekend, though there are hopes he will be fit in time to face Southampton on Sunday.
Given both Firmino and Benteke have missed more than a month of action, it seems unlikely that either will be in line to start on Thursday. However, they should give Klopp far more firepower to bring off the bench late should he need it than was available to the manager against Tottenham. And if he doesn't need the firepower, both should still be in line for a late run out for fitness.
The same is true for Lovren, who had to be taken off at the half against Carlisle in the League Cup last month after being at fault for the lower league side's only goal of the night. If Martin Skrtel struggles again as he did against Tottenham, though, it's not inconceivable Lovren could come off the bench for him. Otherwise, he is unlikely to see any action before their next cup tie.
He won't have long to wait for that, though, with Liverpool welcoming Bournemouth—currently just above the relegation places in the Premier League with eight points to show after nine games—to Anfield next Wednesday in a match that could give both Lovren and Kolo Toure a chance to impress Klopp. Before then, though, there's both Europa League and League matches to worry about.
And for those, it's far more likely that the returning Firmino and Benteke will prove pivotal. Despite struggling in their first two matches, a win on Thursday would put Liverpool top of Group B in the Europa League. Depending on results elsewhere, a win on Sunday could move them as high as fifth in the league.