Premier League leaders Liverpool will be without the services of James Milner and Naby Keita for their trip to the Tottenham Hotspur stadium this weekend.
Liverpool will be aiming to strengthen their grip at the top of the Premier League standings when they face off against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday evening. And Reds’ manager Jurgen Klopp provided a fitness update on the squad, revealing that James Milner is ruled out after picking up a muscle injury in the FA Cup tie against Everton.
Milner joins fellow midfielder Naby Keita on the sidelines, while Dejan Lovren, Fabinho and Joel Matip continue to remain absent for Liverpool. There is some positive though as Xherdan Shaqiri is back to full fitness after a three-match absence due to a muscle problem.
“James and Naby are not available. Both are muscle injuries, different and for different people, so we see how quick they will be,” Klopp said in his pre-match presser. “For sure, not for this weekend, not for next week, but then we will see.
Jürgen Klopp delivered positive injury news as he expects @_fabinhotavares and Dejan Lovren to make a return to full training next week.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 10, 2020
“Joel was not part of all parts of training [this week]. He was outside on the pitch, which looked really good, but then he had to do his own stuff again. Yesterday he was part of the first part of training. Shaq trained completely normal since he’s in. Dejan and Fabinho we expect to be back next week in full training.”
Klopp had fielded a youthful side for Liverpool’s FA Cup assignment against Everton last time out. So, wholesale changes are expected all across the pitch when they face Tottenham on Saturday. Starting in goal, Brazilian international Alisson Becker ought to return to the side, replacing Adrian.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson should reclaim their starting berths in the full-back slots against Tottenham. Virgil van Dijk will return at the heart of the Liverpool defence alongside Joe Gomez, who is likely to be the only player to be retained in the starting XI from the Everton clash.
With Fabinho still not available, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is set to slot in as the holding midfielder on Saturday. Georginio Wijnaldum will also return to the starting XI after being left out of the matchday squad for the FA Cup tie. The third midfield slot will be occupied by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after he made a substitute appearance last time out.
Shaqiri’s return to full fitness provides Klopp with an additional option in attack. However, the German will undoubtedly go in with the terrific trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane against Tottenham on Saturday.
Liverpool Predicted Lineup: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Mane