Liverpool Team News: Defender Returns But Klopp Confirms Striker Setback
Jurgen Klopp has offered a team news update ahead of Liverpool’s FA Cup replay with Exeter and the boss gave the latest on Daniel Sturridge and Jon Flanagan.
Jurgen Klopp has offered a team news and injury update ahead of Liverpool’s FA Cup replay with Exeter and the Reds boss gave the latest on Daniel Sturridge and Jon Flanagan.
Let’s start with the good news and speaking at his pre-match press conference this afternoon, Klopp confirmed that Flanagan is now back in contention for a first team return after finally overcoming a long-standing knee injury.
The young defender hasn’t started for Liverpool since the final day of the 2013/14 season but after a long road to recovery, the 23-year-old is now set to return to the squad against Exeter tomorrow night.
Flanagan has been building up his match fitness for the under-21’s in recent weeks and while Klopp says he isn’t ready to start just yet, the youngster will be on the bench and could make his long-awaited comeback with a second-half substitute appearance.
The German boss told Liverpoolfc.com:
“Jon is in a really good way and we’re all happy about this.
“As a manager you can decide a lot but not all, so that means the medical department decided that he didn’t train yesterday with us. He will train today with us.
“He is not [ready] for the starting line-up, but if nothing happens and he feels good then he will be on the bench. If there is a situation then we will bring him [on], of course. It has really been a long time for him.
“I think now it’s the first step back for him to breathe in and feel Anfield; being back in the dressing room, not in a suit but a tracksuit, so it’s a good, good step for him. If nobody tells me something different, he will be in the squad.”
However, Liverpool will continue to be without the services of Daniel Sturridge after Klopp revealed the striker suffered another setback in his recovery programme after being forced to miss training due to ‘some issues’.
Sturridge is now back undergoing his own personal training regime but Klopp says he has ‘absolutely no chance’ of being involved against Exeter tomorrow night. He continued:
“There is absolutely no chance for Daniel,” said Klopp. “He had a break in his training sessions because of some issues; he is now back on the pitch and again training.
“He has had no team training until now since Newcastle, so that’s not a situation where we can think about him. We have always to find solutions.”
Liverpool head in to the game tomorrow after drawing 2-2 at St James Park in the original tie 11 days ago so the Merseysiders will be hoping to see-off the League Two outfit at Anfield to book a fourth-round date with West Ham.
Klopp has confirmed he’s set to ring the changes once again and will take the opportunity to rest a number of his key first team players and give his youngsters and fringe players a chance to impress.
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