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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Expected to Face Derby County

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The Liverpool midfielder is likely to suit up on Friday for the U23s.

Liverpool Training and Press Conference Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Over the weekend, it was suggested Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be on the verge of playing his first minutes after an entire year sidelined due to a knee injury suffered against Roma in last season’s Champions League semi-final.

Today, word out of the club is that the player has been pencilled in for an appearance against Derby County on with the Liverpool U23s on Friday. This after some speculation he might even face the Everton U23s in a game on Monday.

Even at the U23 level, though, a match against Everton always has the potential to become a heated affair, and so it was decided that holding Oxlade-Chamberlain back until Friday’s match against Derby would be the wiser approach.

And while the 25-year-old won’t be expected to make a first team appearance straight away—and playing in next Wednesday’s match against Bayern Munich is certainly out of the question—it does mean a full return is on the horizon.

When the midfielder began training again there were suggestions he could be back playing with the first team by April, which could mean he might still have a role to play in big matches against the likes of Tottenham and Chelsea.

He would also be in line to play a role in the semi-finals of the Champions League, a full year after the injury that sidelined him, if Liverpool can make it past Bayern without him in their game next week.