Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will be hoping for some good news on the fitness of midfielders Thiago Alcantara and Jordan Henderson in the next 24 hours after being struck down by yet more injury problems.
The defending Premier League champions underlined their enduring quality and will to win with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Leicester – setting a new club record of 64 unbeaten league matches at home – despite missing 10 members of his first-team squad.
But just as Klopp got Fabinho back from a three-week lay-off with a hamstring problem to play as an emergency centre-back he lost fellow midfielder Naby Keita to a similar injury.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will be hopeful of a return to fitness for Jordan Henderson
Thiago Alcantara has been missing for over a month after a horror challenge from Richarlison
And midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri did not even make the squad after it was discovered he had returned from international duty with yet another muscle problem.
With Wednesday’s Champions League visit of Atalanta offering the chance to secure qualification to the knockout phase with two matches still to play Klopp will hope either or both of Henderson, who came back from England duty with a thigh problem, and Thiago, having been sidelined by a knee problem since mid-October, can be available as he is still without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has not played after a knee injury in pre-season.
Without him his midfield options look fairly slim as, with James Milner filling in at right-back for the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold, 19-year-old academy graduate Leighton Clarkson made his first appearance in a match day squad against the Foxes after they learned of Shaqiri’s unavailability.
Jurgen Klopp has had to contend with a mounting injury list at Liverpool this season
‘Shaq had a muscle injury with the national team which he didn’t really realise,’ said Klopp.
‘He trained with us, we gave him a day off and then he came back and was involved in the session, but was not fully involved.
‘After that he felt a little bit (of a problem). Then we did a scan and they found he has an injury from five or six days ago.
‘Nobody knew about that, not even Shaq knew about it, but that’s how things sometimes are and so he was not able to be involved.
Mohamed Salah is likely to return to the squad after a negative Covid-19 test having tested positive on international duty with Egypt but in his