A little more than a month ago, with Liverpool in the midst of a congested run of fixtures and dealing with a growing injury list, Covid, and a looming Africa Cup of Nations that would deprive them of three players the situation for Jürgen Klopp seemed difficult.
Now, things seem positively buoyant around the club. Having not only survived but thrived during AFCoN and seeing most of their injured players at least back in training in recent weeks, the Liverpool manager now has a nearly full squad to choose from for Leicester.
“Oxlade and Joe are back in training, which is good,” noted manager Klopp of the latest two players to return to team training, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez. The duo follow Thiago Alcantara and Divock Origi, who were both able to return to training last week.
Mohamed Salah also returned to training today after flying back from AFCoN, leaving only Sadio Mané—still celebrating his and Senegal’s Sunday final triumph over Egypt and his club teammate—on the list of players with no chance of being involved on Thursday.
“No new injuries or anything like that,” Klopp added. “It’s exactly what you build a squad for. It’s a long season, it’s an intense period between now and the next international break. Now it looks like in the moment we have [a fully fit squad] for once, so now let’s just use it.
“That’s the plan and let’s use it as smartly as possible, so that we can really bring all the energy and all the quality we have. They are incredibly difficult games [coming up], they are difficult, all competitions involved. Yes, it’s tough but that’s why we built the squad.”