Liverpool have been boosted by the return of Croatian defender Dejan Lovren ahead of the big clash against Chelsea this Friday. However, German midfielder Emre Can is still not match fit.
Lovren missed the Reds 4-1 thrashing of defending champions Leicester City with an eye injury, but is set to start against Chelsea. Manager Jurgen Klopp has also revealed that Can is not yet match fit, but his compatriot Lloris Karius could be in contention for a starting berth.
“The players who were involved in the last game are, until now, all ready again – plus Dejan. Not the others, for example Emre,” said Klopp, according to the official club website.
“Emre is not injured any more, which is good, but now he needs to train and that’s how it is. He had a difficult pre-season with coming back later than most of the other players then a little injury here and a little problem there.”
The German manager further added that both his goalkeepers, Simon Mignolet and Lloris Karius, were fit to start against Chelsea.
Chelsea and Liverpool played each other two months ago in a pre-season friendly. It was in that very game that German goalkeeper Lloris Karius suffered a broken hand, after punching Dejan Lovren in an attempted clearance.
The injury has prevented him from making his competitive debut for the club he joined from Mainz this summer. It will be interesting to see if Klopp plays Karius instead of Simon Mignolet, who has put in some decent performances so far this season.
Apart from goal, the rest of the starting line-up seems pretty straightforward. The only change is likely to be Lovren taking the place of Lucas in central defence, alongside Joel Matip. James Milner has become first-choice left-back over Alberto Moreno, while Nathaniel Clyne is the first choice at right-back.
Jordan Henderson will play at the base of the three-man midfield, with Georginio Wijnaldum and Adam Lallana on either side. Phillipe Coutinho and Sadio Mane have cemented their positions on the wings, but Klopp could make a change up front.
Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi are hungry for first team action, but ‘false 9’ Roberto Firmino is making sure the Reds don’t feel the need to play a pure striker just yet. Firmino scored a brace last week, and it is most likely that Klopp will stick to playing the Brazilian up front.