It was an unexpected Liverpool team that faced Monterrey in the Club World Cup semi-final. Both Virgil van Dijk and Gini Wijnaldum were missing from the squad, forcing Jordan Henderson into an ultimately successful but hopefully never to be seen again centre back partnership with Joe Gomez. The midfield was anchored by Adam Lallana. It was something.
Wijnaldum has been recovering from a muscle injury that happened in the 2-0 win against Watford. Gini’s involvement in the final could likely come from the bench as Klopp may not want to risk the Dutchman’s future fitness by aggravating his injury further.
Van Dijk was out ill and today the manager announced Virgil had trained so I’d say he’s in the clear for Saturday’s final with Flamengo. Klopp was more noncommittal.
“We will see on both things actually,” said Klopp.
“Virgil was part of training today. Gini had a session. We will see how it looks at the end.
“How you can imagine, it was Wednesday night when we played and now it’s Friday, so we use each hour for recovery and all that stuff. That’s what we did and we will see who we can line up tomorrow.”
Van Dijk’s involvement pretty much assures Liverpool’s defensive stability against Flamengo. And it puts Henderson back into the midfield doing midfield things. Gini will hate to miss out on the starting XI but I think, between the captain, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Lallana, the manager has too many other midfield players who are fit for the Dutchman to be risked.