Jurgen Klopp has just one pressing injury concern to deal with as Liverpool get set to welcome Manchester City to Anfield in Sunday’s marquee clash.
The Premier League title race is set to witness another key moment for the second successive week after Liverpool and Chelsea sparred in a 1-1 draw last weekend. The Reds are in action against a fellow title contender this week, with Manchester City paying Anfield a visit on Sunday evening in a top-of-the-table clash.
Ahead of the crunch tie, Jurgen Klopp has just one pressing injury concern on his hands, although the issue surrounds a key player – Naby Keita. The Guinean’s availability is doubtful after he was carried off the field in Liverpool’s midweek Champions League loss to Napoli due to a back spasm.
Klopp addressed Keita’s fitness situation during his pre-match press conference, putting a shadow of doubt on the midfielder’s availability, having not trained since sustaining the problem with his back.
“Not 100 per cent sure, he had a back spasm. So we have to wait a little bit. He will be in today; if he can do something on the training ground, I don’t know. I spoke to the Doc this morning but he didn’t know. We don’t know in this moment as well if he can train tomorrow, we have to see. It didn’t look too serious, so there’s a chance but we don’t know.”
Keita’s uncertain fitness situation means Jordan Henderson should return to the starting lineup, playing in a deeper role while freeing Georginio Wijnaldum to play as a box-to-box midfielder alongside James Milner. Meanwhile, there is some positive news on the injury front, with Adam Lallana fit and available after completing his recovery from a groin injury.
The back-four should not throw up any surprises in terms of team selection, even though Dejan Lovren is available, with Joe Gomez striking a solid partnership with Virgil van Dijk. Andrew Robertson will likely be the left-back, with Trent Alexander-Arnold lining up on the opposite flank on the day he turns 20.
Upfront, the form of Mohamed Salah is a major concern for Klopp, who addressed the slump that the Egyptian talisman is going through right now, insisting there is nothing to worry about for Liverpool fans.
“Obviously, expectations changed, that’s normal. He set completely new standards last year [for goalscoring], but for all the rest [of his game] it’s what he did last year. I am completely relaxed. I didn’t say Mo should relax because he has to work hard, but that’s what he is doing. It is a completely normal situation, nothing to worry about and I am relaxed about it.”
Having received the backing from his manager, Salah should line up in the attacking trio, which is likely to be completed by Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. The likes of Xherdan Shaqiri and Daniel Sturridge will be impact substitutes, if needed.