Liverpool

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp eager for good news as Naby Keita suffers injury

Jurgen Klopp has more injury worries
Jurgen Klopp has more injury worries

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.

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.

“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 absence summer signing Diogo Jota continued his hot streak.

A seventh goal in his last six club appearances saw him become the first Liverpool player to score in his first four home top-flight appearances.

“Yes, he’s a good player – that’s the reason why we signed him,” was Klopp’s assessment.

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has injury problems of his own, although not to the extent of his successor at Liverpool.

He had hoped to have left-back Timothy Castagne back for the trip to Anfield but the Belgium international suffered a minor set-back in his recovery from a thigh injury.

“He had a few good

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Andy Robertson provides update on his fitness ahead of Liverpool vs Leicester

Liverpool v Leicester: Premier League match preview

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Andy Robertson says he is “fully fit and ready to go” for Liverpool’s top of the table clash with Leicester this weekend after shaking off his injury concern.

The Reds’ left-back was a doubt for Sunday’s meeting at Anfield after an intense fortnight of fixtures for Scotland, having already gone into the international break nursing an issue.

Liverpool are already down to the bare bones amid their ongoing injury crisis – particularly in defence – but Robertson insists he is fine to play a part.



Andrew Robertson holding a football ball: Robertson is fit to play against Leicester this weekend


© Liverpool FC via Getty Images
Robertson is fit to play against Leicester this weekend

“Yeah, I feel fit, feel ready to go,” Robertson told Liverpool’s official website on Friday. “I think I just got a tighter hamstring than usual against Man City, first and foremost.

“Then obviously the game on Thursday for Scotland was a huge one and 120 minutes and penalties had took its toll on me.

“Sunday, I wasn’t ready and just took a bit more time to recover from the game. But there wasn’t any real concerns about it.



MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Andrew Robertson of Liverpool in action during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on November 8, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Visionhaus)


© Visionhaus
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 08: Andrew Robertson of Liverpool in action during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on November 8, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Visionhaus)

“It was just the [risk] of doing anything worse to the hamstring was quite high on Sunday and the manager had made the call not to play me. Wednesday, I was good to go. Now I’m ready to go for Sunday, I feel fully fit, I feel ready.”

He added: “I know some people were quite concerned but I suppose with the amount of injuries we’ve had, people have become used to it. But I’m fully fit and ready to go.”

Robertson’s verdict will come as a welcome boost to manager Jurgen Klopp, who is already without three of his regular back four for the visit of Brendan Rodgers’ side.



The Reds' left-back working on his fitness in the gym at Liverpool's new Kirkby HQ


© Liverpool FC via Getty Images
The Reds’ left-back working on his fitness in the gym at Liverpool’s new Kirkby HQ


Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are both ruled out with long-term injuries, while Trent Alexander-Arnold is still a couple of weeks away from returning to fitness.

Klopp is also hopeful Fabinho will be fit to feature in some capacity, and the Brazilian is expected to be involved.

Liverpool were also hit with the double blow of losing Jordan Henderson to a thigh strain, with Mohamed Salah also sidelined due to him contracting coronavirus.

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Liverpool to assess Thiago & Fabinho fitness ahead of Leicester clash but Henderson out

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that his midfield duo are “close” to a return – but his captain will be missing this weekend

Liverpool will assess the fitness of midfield duo Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho ahead of their Premier League clash with Leicester.

Jurgen Klopp confirmed on Friday that the pair were edging closer to a return to action, but that the Reds would be without captain Jordan Henderson for Sunday’s top-of-the-table fixture.

Thiago has not featured since the Merseyside derby with Everton on October 17, having suffered a knee injury in a challenge with Blues forward Richarlison, while Fabinho has been absent since picking up a knee injury in the win over Sheffield United a week later.

But both players were pictured at the newly-opened AXA Training Centre this week, and Klopp told his pre-match press conference that they would be looked at closely before a decision was made on their involvement against Leicester.

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Henderson, though, will join Trent Alexander-Arnold on the missing list having suffered a groin issue with England during the international break. 

Klopp told reporters: “Hendo will not be available, that’s clear. All the rest, we will see. 

“They are in a good way. They are all closer, but we will see if it’s close enough for the weekend.”

Klopp also discussed the injury suffered by Joe Gomez during training with England, which looks set to keep the 23-year-old out for a large part of the remainder of the campaign.

He said: “It was a tough one. The surgery was successful, and he is already recovering. He’s with his family, so he is in the best possible place, I would say.

“Rehab has started now. We help as much as we can. For the first few days after surgery you feel pretty alone, but if you have the family around, as is the case with Joe, then it’s all good, or as good as possible.”

Liverpool were, at least, boosted by the sight of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was back training outdoors as he steps up his recovery from the knee injury which has kept him out since August. 

The England international is unlikely to be considered for Sunday’s game, but could make his return to action next month, providing there are no complications.

“Ox is in a good way,” Klopp added. 

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Liverpool set for fitness boost ahead of Manchester City Premier League clash

Klopp: Playing Man City one of the ‘most difficult games in the world’

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Liverpool are set to welcome back a key influence for Sunday’s trip to Manchester City.

The Reds go to the Etihad Stadium looking to return to the top of the Premier League ahead of the forthcoming international break, and knowing that a win would see them strike a huge blow in the title race.

Jurgen Klopp’s men have lost on each of their last three trips to the Etihad in the league, although last season’s 4-0 defeat did come in the days after they had been celebrating winning the title for the first time in 30 years.

One of the key developments since that title win has of course been the serious knee injury sustained by star defender Virgil van Dijk, but Klopp seems set to welcome back Joel Matip for the visit to Pep Guardiola’s side.



a man wearing a uniform: Klopp saw his side beat Atalanta in the Champions League in midweek


© REUTERS
Klopp saw his side beat Atalanta in the Champions League in midweek

Liverpool’s last three matches have each seen a different player start alongside Joe Gomez in the centre of their defence, with Fabinho starting the Champions League clash against FC Midtjylland before going off injured.

The Brazilian was then replaced by Nat Phillips for last Saturday’s Premier League win over West Ham, and then with Phillips not registered for the Champions League it was teenager Rhys Williams who came in for the midweek trip to Atalanta.

Now though, it appears that Matip will return to the side to partner Gomez and make his first appearance since last month’s Merseyside derby.



Joel Matip wearing a uniform and holding a football ball: Matip has been back in training with the Reds


© Liverpool FC via Getty Images
Matip has been back in training with the Reds

He started that game with Gomez coming on for the injured Van Dijk, but incredibly this clash at the Etihad seems likely to be the first time that Matip and Gomez start together in the heart of the Liverpool defence.

Klopp faces a dilemma over who to select in attack, with the in-form Diogo Jota and mainstay Roberto Firmino both hoping to start alongside Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

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Soccer-Matip and Keita hand Liverpool fitness boost ahead of Atalanta test

Nov 2 (Reuters) – Joel Matip and Naby Keita have returned to Liverpool first-team training but manager Juergen Klopp is yet to decide if both will be available for Tuesday’s Champions League encounter with Italian side Atalanta.

Matip is poised to hand Liverpool a timely fitness boost as Klopp hopes to navigate his squad through a central defence injury crisis, with both Fabinho and Virgil van Dijk out of contention.

Van Dijk underwent a successful knee surgery last week after damaging his ligaments against Everton.

Keita is also set to be part of the travelling group to Bergamo for Liverpool’s third match in Champions League Group D, but fellow midfielder Thiago Alcantara is yet to return to training.

“Naby and Joel trained yesterday with the team, full, Thiago didn’t. So, that’s the situation,” Klopp told a news conference.

“I have really no idea what I do with this information in the moment because yes, they trained, that’s good, it’s better than if they don’t train. But we have to see what we do with it.

“We have another day to make these decisions. A lot of players will be on the plane hopefully, and so decisions will be made late, late, late.”

Atalanta, renowned for their high-octane pressing style under coach Gian Piero Gasperini, defied expectations last season to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

Klopp said Atalanta are Liverpool’s “biggest challenge in Europe so far” and compared the Italian outfit to Premier League’s Leeds United.

“With all Atalanta have done in the last few years, they are a settled team and they are very difficult to play against,” Klopp said.

“They are similar to Leeds in the way they set-up.

“They are a proper fighting unit. They have all our respect and I know how good they are.” (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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health

UK sees Covid ‘light ahead’ as Liverpool gets city-wide tests

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday promised “light ahead” for weary Britons ahead of a second coronavirus lockdown, pinning his hopes partly on the UK’s first city-wide testing plan in Liverpool.

The ambitious pilot scheme in the northwestern city, one of the areas worst-hit by the pandemic in Britain, will start on Friday, a day after all of England is to go into a revised version of the first lockdown instituted in March.

Britain, already grappling with the worst death toll in Europe, is tracking its neighbours in ramping up restrictions as a second wave of the pandemic takes grip.

But Johnson is under pressure from fellow Conservatives over the attendant economic harm.

Addressing a cabinet meeting, the prime minister said the four-week lockdown until December 2 was vital to prevent hospitals getting overwhelmed and “fatalities running in the thousands (daily) if nothing was done”.

There were grounds for hope, however, from new treatments to alleviate Covid-19 symptoms, mass and rapid testing, and the prospect of a vaccine, he said.

The kind of cheap new tests offering quick results intended for Liverpool “can be a massive and possibly decisive use to us in this country in defeating the virus”, Johnson added.

“So amid the uncertain gloom of November I see light ahead, and I’m absolutely certain that we will have better days before us.”

In launching the Liverpool pilot, the UK is following in the footsteps of Slovakia, which has begun testing its entire population.

But its effectiveness will depend on infected people self-isolating and their contacts being properly traced.

– Trust is short –

The track and trace facets of the Covid response have fallen short in Britain, Johnson has conceded, despite the government sinking a mammoth £12 billion ($16 billion) into its national testing programme so far.

Tom Wingfield, senior clinical lecturer at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, said the pilot in his city was “an important step towards regaining control of Covid-19 transmission”.

But he warned: “Success will also not be possible unless there is trust in the testing system. That trust will only be achieved through engagement with our communities and clear information about the benefits of participation.”

Britain has registered almost 47,000 fatalities among people testing positive for the coronavirus since the respiratory disease emerged in China late last year.

The Office for National Statistics on Tuesday said 980 more deaths were registered in England and Wales in the week ending October 23 than the five-year average.

Of those, 978 mentioned coronavirus on the death certificate.

Johnson pushed reluctant members of his cabinet into agreeing the lockdown after government scientists presented worst-case projections of fatalities reaching 4,000 a day by mid-December without action now.

Opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer accused the prime minister of a “catastrophic failure of leadership”, after Johnson rejected a recommendation to impose a shorter lockdown during the October school holidays.

– Virus sparks new cyber threats –

But restive Conservatives, warning of the spiralling economic costs of lockdown,

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UK to roll out rapid COVID-19 testing in Liverpool

LONDON (AP) — A half-million people in the English city of Liverpool will be regularly tested for COVID-19 in Britain’s first citywide trial of widespread, rapid testing that the government hopes will be a new weapon in combating the pandemic.

Testing will begin later this week at sites throughout the city using a variety of technologies, including new methods that can provide results in an hour or less, the government said in a statement Tuesday. Everyone who lives or works in the city in northwestern England will be offered the test, regardless of whether they have symptoms.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes mass testing will provide a way out of the coronavirus crisis, which has killed more than 46,000 people across the U.K. in Europe’s deadliest outbreak. England is scheduled to go into a second national lockdown on Thursday as the government struggles to control a second wave of infections that risks swamping hospitals and emergency rooms.

“These tests will help identify the many thousands of people in the city who don’t have symptoms but can still infect others without knowing,″ Johnson said. “Dependent on their success in Liverpool, we will aim to distribute millions of these new rapid tests between now and Christmas and empower local communities to use them to drive down transmission in their areas.”

Liverpool has one of the highest infection rates in England, with more than 410 cases per 100,000 people, compared to 225 per 100,000 for the nation as a whole.


Mayor Joe Anderson said he expects the program to last six to eight weeks as authorities work to bring the local outbreak under control. Rapid testing for health-care workers, teachers and students will be particularly useful in helping the city return to normal after the national lockdown ends, he said.

About 2,000 military personnel will help the National Health Service and independent contractors deliver the tests.

“This first deployment of whole city testing in Liverpool is a really important step forward and is thanks to the big increase in testing capacity and our investment in new testing technologies,” said Dido Harding, the head of the Test and Trace program.

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Follow AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/virus-outbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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Britain to trial citywide testing in Liverpool

LONDON — The British government plans to trial a new citywide coronavirus testing program in Liverpool, offering regular testing to everyone who lives and works in the city of 500,000 in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Testing will take place throughout the city using a variety of technologies, including new methods that can provide results in an hour or less.

The Department of Health says, “these more advanced tests will help identify infectious individuals who are not displaying symptoms … so they can self-isolate and prevent the virus from spreading.”

The Liverpool trial is seen as a test of how Britain might be able to roll out mass testing across the country, which is battling a surge in coronavirus infections. England is scheduled to begin a second national lockdown on Thursday.

Liverpool has one of the highest infection rates in England, with more than 410 cases per 100,000 people.


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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Huge voter turnout expected in U.S. despite virus, political rancor

— ‘Raw exposed nerves’: Anxious nation awaits Election Day

— U.S. hospitals are scrambling to hire more nurses as the coronavirus pandemic surges, leading to stiff competition and increased costs

— Widely shared photo of Biden without mask was taken in 2019

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— Follow AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Authorities in Sri Lanka have extended the school holidays for two more weeks, postponing the opening of classes amid a surge of COVID-19 patients from two clusters in Colombo and the capital’s suburbs.

Schools had been scheduled to reopen Nov. 9, but the government announced Tuesday that classes would not resume until Nov. 23.

Schools were suddenly closed last month as a precautionary measure after a new cluster of coronavirus infections centered on a garment factory erupted in the densely populated Western province, where the capital is. Another cluster centered on the country’s main fish market arose later.

The two clusters have now grown to 7,856 confirmed cases, with 275 in the previous 24 hours. The total caseload for the pandemic stands at 11,335 with 21 deaths from COVID-19.

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NEW DELHI, India — India has registered 38,310 confirmed coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, maintaining an overall downturn even as fresh infections continue to appear in its capital, New Delhi.

The Health Ministry on Tuesday also reported 490 more fatalities from COVID-19, raising the overall death toll to 1,23,097.

With a total of 8.2 million coronavirus cases during the pandemic, India is the second worst-hit country behind the United States. But it has been witnessing a steady fall in daily cases.

Still, health officials say New Delhi remains in the grip of its third and worst wave of infections yet. In the past week, there were more than 5,200 cases on average every day. The Health Ministry attributes the city’s surge to the festival season, with people crowding markets for

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Atalanta v Liverpool: Joel Matip and Naby Keita face late fitness tests before Champions League tie

Liverpool
Liverpool have won 1-0 away at Ajax and 2-0 at home against FC Midtjylland in the Champions League this season

Defender Joel Matip and midfielder Naby Keita face late fitness tests before Liverpool’s Champions League game at Atalanta on Tuesday (20:00 GMT).

The pair trained on Sunday, but midfielder Thiago Alcantara was absent as he recovers from a knee injury.

“We have to wait until the medical department gives us a green, orange or red light,” said manager Jurgen Klopp.

Liverpool have won both of their Champions League games this season and are top of Group D.

Meanwhile, Atalanta, who reached the quarter-finals of the 2019-20 competition, have picked up four points from their opening two matches and are second.

This will be Liverpool’s first European match against the Italian side and Klopp is expecting a tough game.

“They obviously have a really good atmosphere, a good mood and are a proper fighting unit,” said the German.

“They are very well organised; play their system with 100% conviction, they know exactly what everybody has to do.

“I know how good they are. I actually enjoyed the analysis, I enjoyed watching them because it’s really interesting.”

Premier League leaders Liverpool will be playing their sixth game in 18 days.

Matip has only featured twice this season and missed the past four matches, while Keita has been absent for five games because of a muscle injury.

Centre-half Virgil van Dijk is expected to miss most of the season with a cruciate knee ligament injury, while stand-in defender Fabinho sustained a hamstring problem in the 2-0 home win against Danish side FC Midtjylland last week.

“We have, in the moment, more centre-halves available than we probably will line up together, which is good,” added Klopp.

MATCH FACTS

Atalanta

  • Atalanta are set to face their third different English opponent, having previously met Everton in the 2017-18 Europa League (played two, won two) and Manchester City in the Champions League last season (played two, drew one, lost one).
  • Since losing their first three group-stage games in the Champions League last season, Atalanta have gone unbeaten in their past five group-stage games in the competition (won three, drew two), including both this season (won one, drew one).
  • Excluding qualifiers, Atalanta have only failed to score in one of their past 19 games in major European competition (4-0 v Dinamo Zagreb last season), while they have averaged 2.1 goals per game over the course of this run (40 goals in total).
  • Duvan Zapata has been directly involved in six goals in five Champions League starts for Atalanta (four goals and two assists), while he scored twice in their 2-2 draw against Ajax on matchday two.

Liverpool

  • Liverpool have lost all three of their away Champions League matches in Italy under manager Jurgen Klopp, losing to Roma in May 2018 and Napoli in October 2018 and September 2019.
  • Liverpool have won each of their past three away games in the Champions League group stage, after losing four in
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Matip and Keita hand Liverpool fitness boost ahead of Atalanta test

(Reuters) – Joel Matip and Naby Keita have returned to Liverpool first-team training but manager Juergen Klopp is yet to decide if both will be available for Tuesday’s Champions League encounter with Italian side Atalanta.



Joel Matip wearing a football uniform: Premier League - Liverpool v Newcastle United


© Reuters/JASON CAIRNDUFF
Premier League – Liverpool v Newcastle United



a group of baseball players playing a football game: Premier League - Liverpool v Leeds United


© Reuters/PHIL NOBLE
Premier League – Liverpool v Leeds United

Matip is poised to hand Liverpool a timely fitness boost as Klopp hopes to navigate his squad through a central defence injury crisis, with both Fabinho and Virgil van Dijk out of contention.

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Van Dijk underwent a successful knee surgery last week after damaging his ligaments against Everton.

Keita is also set to be part of the travelling group to Bergamo for Liverpool’s third match in Champions League Group D, but fellow midfielder Thiago Alcantara is yet to return to training.

“Naby and Joel trained yesterday with the team, full, Thiago didn’t. So, that’s the situation,” Klopp told a news conference.

“I have really no idea what I do with this information in the moment because yes, they trained, that’s good, it’s better than if they don’t train. But we have to see what we do with it.

“We have another day to make these decisions. A lot of players will be on the plane hopefully, and so decisions will be made late, late, late.”

Atalanta, renowned for their high-octane pressing style under coach Gian Piero Gasperini, defied expectations last season to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

Klopp said Atalanta are Liverpool’s “biggest challenge in Europe so far” and compared the Italian outfit to Premier League’s Leeds United.

“With all Atalanta have done in the last few years, they are a settled team and they are very difficult to play against,” Klopp said.

“They are similar to Leeds in the way they set-up.

“They are a proper fighting unit. They have all our respect and I know how good they are.”

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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