Virgil van Dijk is set to return, while Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are also likely to start for Liverpool in the Club World Cup final against Flamengo.
Liverpool will be looking to become the world champions when they lock horns with Brazilian giants Flamengo in the FIFA Club World Cup final at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on Saturday.
Jurgen Klopp’s men reached the final after securing a dramatic 2-1 win over Monterrey in the semi-final earlier this week and will be hoping to lift the Club World Cup trophy for the first time ever in the club’s history. And they have been handed with a major fitness boost ahead of Saturday’s meeting in Qatar.
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Virgil van Dijk, who was forced to miss the semi-final due to illness, is back in full training and in contention to start against Flamengo, Klopp confirmed. Georginio Wijnaldum was also involved in a training session, but remains a doubt for the game. Fabinho, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Nathaniel Clyne are all ruled out.
Providing a fitness update on the squad in his pre-match presser, Klopp said, “We will see. Virg was part of training today, Gini had a session today. We will see how it will look at the end. We have no new injury concerns.”
Alisson Becker, who put in an outstanding display against Monterrey, ought to continue between the sticks against the club from his homeland in the final. There are likely to be a couple of changes in defence as Trent Alexander-Arnold returns at right-back, while van Dijk should also start on Saturday. Joe Gomez and Andrew Robertson will be retained in the starting XI.
Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson will move back into the defensive midfield role after having played the last game as a centre-back. The Englishman will have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita as partners, although James Milner, who played at right-back against Monterrey, is also an option at Klopp’s disposal.
The Liverpool boss opted to hold Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane back for the semi-final, using them as substitutes in the second half. However, the both the players are widely expected to feature from the get-go against Flamengo this weekend. The Reds’ attacking trifecta will be completed by star man Mohamed Salah.
Predicted Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Keita, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Mane