Virgil van Dijk is fit to start while Georginio Wijnaldum has been ruled out for Liverpool’s Club World Cup semi-final against Monterrey in Doha.
European champions Liverpool will be looking to reach the FIFA Club World Cup final when they lock horns with CONCACAF Champions League holders Monterrey at the Khalifa International Stadium on Wednesday evening. And, Jurgen Klopp has greeted a mixed bag of team news on the injury front ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
The Liverpool boss had been sweating over the fitness of star defender Virgil van Dijk upon arriving in Doha, with the Dutch international not taking part in training on Monday. However, during his pre-match press conference, Klopp insisted that van Dijk is fit and available.
“Virgil is fine. We had to do different stuff for recovery for different people, so that was the reason why he was not involved yesterday in the session, but Virgil is fine. All the rest of the squad is fine.”
Joe Gomez picks himself at the heart of the Liverpool defence alongside van Dijk, with Joel Matip (knee) and Dejan Lovren (muscle injury) not travelling to Qatar for the Club World Cup due to their respective fitness troubles. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson are certain starters as the full-back pairing, with Alisson Becker set to take his place in goal.
Up ahead in midfield, there could be a few rotations in the offing, with Jordan Henderson likely to be given a breather. In the Liverpool captain’s stead, James Milner is likely to reprise the holding midfield role. Meanwhile, Georginio Wijnaldum has been ruled out of the Monterrey clash, although Klopp revealed that the Dutchman’s injury is not as bad as what was feared initially.
“Gini was not as serious as we thought in the first moment, so he’s here doing the first recovery and then we have stuff what is necessary. So we will see day by day but for tomorrow night he’s not involved.”
With the game coming too soon for Wijnaldum, one of Klopp’s changes will be forced. Naby Keita is likely to come into the side in place of Wijnaldum, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain completing the numbers in the middle of the park.
Upfront, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino are likely to continue being rotated, with Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi the likely starters in their respective positions. Sadio Mane, though, should start, lining up on the left side of the Liverpool attack against Monterrey.
Predicted Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Keita, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Shaqiri, Origi, Mane