There are a couple of fitness issues in the Liverpool squad that date back to a time before the long and winding international break. Joël Matip missed fixtures against RB Salzburg and Leicester City. His status is unknown. Mohamed Salah was substituted at Anfield against Brendan Rodger’s side towards the end of the match and his situation hasn’t been updated.
Jürgen Klopp wasn’t particularly forthcoming with new information at his pre-Manchester United press conference. When asked about the conditions of his injured players, Klopp was positive but noncommittal.
“Better – how good, we have to see, that’s the truth,” said the manager.
“There are two more sessions to come from this afternoon and we have to see. Then we’ll make decisions, that’s how it is. Nothing is fixed.”
Salah is the more likely of he and Matip to make the starting XI. Whatever ankle knock he picked up against Leicester didn’t appear worrying. And it seems plausible that Klopp would want to keep Ole Gunnar Solskjaer guessing.
Matip has had lengthy injury troubles in the past, so the Liverpool medical team will probably handle his reintroduction to the match day squad with care. Joe Gomez didn’t look fantastic against Salzburg but was understandably rusty. Then Dejan Lovren came in and performed well in the last game against Leicester. Either centre back could slot in beside Virgil Van Dijk at Old Trafford.
Thankfully, there were no addition injuries coming back from international duty and Klopp has had a full compliment of players to prepare for United on Sunday.
“The players on international duty all came back healthy, which is very, very important,” Klopp said.
“So we now had three or four days with the full squad to prepare it, which is a little bit comfortable at least.”
One player certainly in line to make a dramatic return from injury this weekend is Alisson. The Brazilian has had to watch all of Liverpool’s successes this season from the sidelines, having left the Anfield pitch on opening day against Norwich City. A clean sheet would be excellent and could really get this team’s motor going.