Caoimhin Kelleher could be set to replace Alisson Becker while Thiago Alcantara has faced a fresh injury setback as Liverpool prepare to face Chelsea.
Liverpool will be aiming to return to winning ways when they travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday evening.
Leading up to the game, manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed that three players had tested positive for coronavirus, while Thiago Alcantara is set for another spell on the sidelines with an injury. Takumi Minamino also looks set to miss out on the game at Stamford Bridge. Klopp, himself, will not be available on the touchlines after he, too, returned a positive test for the virus on the eve of the contest.
Speaking to the press earlier in the week, Klopp had said: “I’m not [able to reveal the names] because we still have to make the whole processes, getting a proper PCR and all these kind of things, but you will see the day after tomorrow on the teamsheet. It will be pretty clear then who is affected or infected.”
“I would say Taki is probably closer, he is running outside. Thiago, not yet. It means for him, it might take a little bit longer. It’s a hip issue which we don’t have an idea where it’s coming from, so we have to be a little bit patient with that.”
While Klopp did not reveal the identity of the players who tested positive for coronavirus, Alisson Becker and Roberto Firmino were not pictured in training on Thursday and are suspected to be two of the Liverpool stars who returned a positive test. In case the Brazilian duo misses out, Caoimhin Kelleher is expected to replace Alisson between the sticks.
Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk ought to hold on to their places at the heart of the Liverpool defence while Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kostas Tsimikas line up as the full-backs, with the latter continuing in the absence of Andrew Robertson, who is out with a suspension.
Thiago’s absence does not affect Klopp’s plans a great deal considering that Liverpool have had to deal with him being unavailable on many occasions this season. Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita are expected to take up the two No. 8 slots in the middle of the park, whereas Fabinho continues as the holding midfielder.
With Firmino’s involvement a major doubt as well, Diogo Jota ought to continue in the No. 9 role. He will be flanked by the dynamic duo of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, both of whom will be playing their final games before flying off for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Liverpool Predicted XI: Kelleher, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Tsimikas, Henderson, Fabinho, Keita, Salah, Jota, Mane.