Liverpool Team News: Rodgers Offers Latest On Sakho, Allen, Sturridge & More
Liverpool entertain Aston Villa at Anfield on Saturday evening looking to cement their place in the top four. Here is the latest team news from Brendan Rodgers
Liverpool entertain Aston Villa at Anfield on Saturday evening looking to cement their place in the top four.
Ahead of the game, boss Brendan Rodgers has been speaking at his pre-match press conference today and gave Liverpoolfc.com a team news and injury update with the latest on the fitness of Mamadou Sakho, Joe Allen, Jon Flanagan and Jose Enrique.
The good news for the Reds is that midfielder Allen is back in full training and could be in the squad this weekend. The Welshman has missed almost three weeks with an abductor injury picked up against Chelsea back at the end of December but Rodgers has confirmed he’s trained this week and could be in contention on Saturday.
Another player who was also injured during Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge was Sakho with the Frenchman limping off near the end of the game with a hamstring problem.
However, he too could return this weekend with Rodgers revealing he will assess the centre-back over the next 48 hours before making a decision over his involvement against Villa, but fellow defenders Flanagan and Enrique remain unavailable.
Rodgers told the clubs official website:
“We’ve got Joe Allen back,” said Rodgers. “Joe returned in training and we’ll just wait and see how young Sakho is over the next day or so.
“We’re slowly getting our players back. Jon Flanagan and Jose Enrique are still out but we’re looking better.”
While Allen’s return is obviously a boost and will give Rodgers another option in midfield, he’s unlikely to feature heavily in the Northern Irishman’s first team plans with Steven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva currently his preferred central midfield pairing.
Sakho could return to the starting eleven though as Daniel Agger has been ruled out for three weeks, so Rodgers will be hoping he’s passed fit over the coming days.
One man who’s recently returned to action after a seven-week injury lay-off is Daniel Sturridge with the striker coming off the bench to score one and set up another during Liverpool’s 5-3 win over Stoke City last weekend.
Rodgers has now taken the time to praise the England international and claims his enforced lay-off has seen him come back refreshed and ready to help the Reds push for a top four spot. He continued:
“My opinion on Daniel has only been reinforced through the time that I have worked with him,” said Rodgers. “Overall I think he’s got a wonderful opportunity over the next couple of years of being world-class.
“He has every tool, he has every quality to be a world-class striker, similar to what Luis Suarez is. If we get him onto the field on a regular basis, if he gets a bit of luck and stays clear of injury, then he can be [world-class] for sure.
“This period out with injury has refreshed him mentally. He comes back in the second part of the season now in a real good moment. I think it really signified how hard he worked in his injury period when he came into the game at the weekend.
“He made an immediate impact, physically he looked very strong and mobile and fast in his reactions. That’s a great credit to him and how focused he’s been on getting back.”
Sturridge’s return is certainly a huge boost to Liverpool and he instantly picked up where he left off in forming his deadly partnership with Luis Suarez up front.
If the Merseysiders want to qualify for the Champions League or even make a late push for the title, then keeping those two fit is essential.
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What team would you like to see Rodgers start against Villa? Leave your suggestions below.
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