With a lengthy injury list that includes their top three defenders out for the season, there will be no time this season when we can result on Liverpool’s squad nearing full fitness or manager Jürgen Klopp having all his options to choose from.
Still, within the framework of the Reds’ current injury crisis, there is good news ahead of their important clash with top four rivals Chelsea, with Alisson Becker, Fabinho, and Diogo Jota all in contention for Thursday night’s Premier League match.
“Ali has trained now all week so we should expect that he is able to return,” was manager Jürgen Klopp’s response at today’s pre-match press conference when asked if fans can expect those three to return to action on Thursday evening.
“Fabinho has five or six session in his legs. We have to make a decision but he looks good, he’s ready for the squad for sure. Diogo had this little stomach problem. We got the message he feels better now so we will see what he can do.”
If all three are ready not just to play but to start, it could even give Klopp something he hasn’t had in quite some time—a decision to make about which key players rotate out of the starting eleven and which positions others are played at.
It’s likeliest perhaps that Fabinho, if ready, will slot into the backline alongside January signing Ozan Kabak, but Klopp hasn’t forgotten how good the Brazilian is in midfield and isn’t ruling out a return to the role he made his name playing.
“Both are possible,” he said of where Fabinho could slot in. “It’s good, it gives us options in different moments. If you can find a way to bring Fab back in the six it would be quite useful in some games, but we will see. Both positions are intense.
“But we haven’t had to rush him back. That’s good. That’s the first time. So we don’t know if he will play or is only ready for the bench but we will see.”