Liverpool team news: Klopp confirms triple boost but key man suffers injury setback
Jurgen Klopp has provided a team news and injury update ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League clash with Ajax on Tuesday night.
The Reds boss has confirmed that Thiago Alcantara is still ‘a few weeks’ away from returning to action as he continues to recover from a knee injury that he sustained during the controversial draw with Everton in mid-October.
It looked as though Thiago was close to making his comeback after being photographed in training last week, however, it seems the injury is taking longer than expected to heal as Klopp says the Spaniard won’t feature a few weeks yet.
The German coach also provided an update on Trent Alexander-Arnold and confirmed the right-back is getting closer to returning to action. The Ajax game will still come too soon but Alexander-Arnold is expected to available again soon after stepping-up his recovery in training.
Naby Keita missed Liverpool’s draw with Brighton at the weekend with a muscle issue and Klopp says they will assess the midfielder ahead of tomorrow’s game against Ajax while Xherdan Shaqiri is also close to returning to fitness.
Klopp also provided the latest on Virgil van Dijk’s condition and confirmed the centre-back is ‘doing really well’ given the circumstances but says the Dutchman’s knee is a mess following his surgery.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference today, Klopp is quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo:
“After Everton it was a really bad injury. He [Thiago] trained from time to time but not in the moment. We realise it was a really big impact on the knee and he has to take a few more steps, and it will take a few weeks.”
“They are all getting closer. With Naby we have to check still. With the other two [Alexander-Arnold and Shaqiri], they will not be ready [for Ajax].”
“Trent looks quite good. Nobody gave me green light for tonight so he will not train with the team. He has been outside doing his rehab stuff, that looks really good. But from what I saw today, it will not be that long anymore with Trent.”
“Considering the current circumstances, he [van Dijk] is doing really well. Yes of course we are in contact.”
“He is doing really well but his knee doesn’t look good. [But] it looks good for a knee that has had surgery. He is doing well.”
Klopp also confirmed that James Milner will miss the Champions League clash tomorrow night after suffering a hamstring injury against Brighton but Jordan Henderson is available after making his comeback at the weekend.
Liverpool head into the game sitting top of Group D – two points clear of Ajax and Atalanta – after losing to the Italians last week so they need a win to book their place in the knockout stages of the competition.