Wolves

fitness

Alexander-Arnold fitness boost for Liverpool as Keita also returns ahead of Wolves clash

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he is set to welcome two players back into his ranks from the treatment room

Trent Alexander-Arnold is set to hand Liverpool a timely fitness boost ahead of their home date with Wolves, although Jurgen Klopp is yet to decide whether the right-back is ready to start a game.

The England international has formed part of a lengthy injury list at Anfield over recent weeks.

Alexander-Arnold has been sidelined since picking up a knock in a 1-1 draw at Manchester City on November 8.

Liverpool have taken in four outings since then, across Premier League and Champions League competition, and remain in the hunt for domestic and continental honours.

Their cause is now about to be aided by the return of Alexander-Arnold, who will be looking to take his starting berth back from Neco Williams.

Klopp remains wary of asking too much from a player who has been nursing a hamstring complaint, but he will come back into contention against Wolves alongside midfielder Naby Keita.

Quizzed at his pre-match conference on whether any of his walking wounded are ready to return, Reds boss Klopp said: “I don’t know yet, we will see.

“Trent and Naby will do the first steps in team training today [Friday]; whatever we can do with that depends on how it looks.

“There are some niggles after the game against Ajax and we have to see how they respond.

“So far, they didn’t do a lot apart from treatment and stuff like this. We have to see how that develops [but] I don’t know in the moment.

“There is a chance Naby and Trent can be in the squad, I would say.

“If they can play, I don’t know. If they are in the squad then they can play, but if they can start or play 90 minutes, I don’t know. I think there’s a chance they are in the squad, yes.

“Apart from Naby and Trent, nobody is coming back, no.”

Alisson, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, James Milner and Thiago Alcantara remain among those still stuck on the sidelines, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been another long-term absentee.

He has been missing since suffering a knee injury in pre-season, but the 27-year-old midfielder is edging his way back towards full fitness.

Klopp added on the England international: “Ox looks really promising, he is doing a lot of stuff.

“He is warming up with the team now, some ball work, a lot of stuff, but we will develop that now over the next few days.

“Then we will see from which moment on it makes sense to throw him in. He is not too far away.”

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Arsenal predicted line-up to face Wolves as Mikel Arteta sweats on duo’s fitness

Mikel Arteta is expected to make a number of changes to the team which beat Molde 3-0 in midweek as Arsenal prepare to host Wolves on Sunday night.

The Emirates clash is expected to come too soon for Bukayo Saka but Willian has a chance of making the starting XI after both stars were injured during last weekend’s 0-0 draw at Leeds.

Elsewhere, the Gunners will be without suspended winger Nicolas Pepe, while midfielder Thomas Partey and defender David Luiz are serious doubts.

A number of Arsenal’s youngsters impressed in the Europa League win on Thursday, but Arteta is expected to call on his seasoned performers for the testing visit of Wolves.

Arteta faces a late call on whether to include Willian and Saka

As such, Arsenal will likely line up with a back five ahead of goalkeeper Bernd Leno, with Rob Holding, Gabriel and Kieran Tierney fielded at centre-back.

Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles may be called on in the wing-back roles, with the latter filling in for Saka as the 19-year-old continues his recovery from a knee injury.

“It’s very doubtful [that Saka will be back in time for Wolves],” Arteta said on Wednesday.

What would be your Arsenal starting XI to face Wolves? Have your say here.

Maitland-Niles may fill in at left wing-back if Saka misses out

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“He’s been in a lot of pain for the last few days so I cannot say today that he’s going to be fit.”

In midfield, Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos are expected to get the nod after their industrious displays at Elland Road last weekend.

But there may be a shake-up in attack that sees Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang return to the left flank after he was fielded as a centre-forward against Leeds.

This would allow Alexandre Lacazette to return to the forward trio and Willian to line up on the right wing, should he overcome his calf issue.

Discussing the Brazilian, Arteta said: “He has not travelled to Molde. He will continue to be assessed and aiming to be available for Sunday’s match against Wolves.”

Arsenal predicted starting XI: Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, Maitland-Niles; Ceballos, Xhaka; Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang.

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Hodgson receives boost as FIVE Crystal Palace players return to fitness ahead of trip to Wolves

Roy Hodgson receives major boost as FIVE Crystal Palace players including new signing Jack Butland return to fitness ahead of trip to Wolves

  • Gary Cahill and James Tomkins, who were both out with thigh injuries, are back
  • Jordan Ayew and summer signing Jack Butland are back after self-isolating
  • The striker and the new goalkeeper tested positive for coronavirus recently
  • James McCarthy is also back in training after picking up an injury with Ireland

Crystal Palace have received a significant injury boost ahead of Friday’s Premier League trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers, with manager Roy Hodgson confirming that five first-team players have returned to full fitness.

Defenders Gary Cahill and James Tomkins, who were both out with thigh injuries, are available for the game at Molineux, while striker Jordan Ayew and new goalkeeper Jack Butland are back after self-isolating following positive tests for COVID-19.

Central midfielder James McCarthy is also back in training after picking up an injury on international duty with Ireland.

Roy Hodgson has been boosted by the news of five Crystal Palace players returning to fitness

Roy Hodgson has been boosted by the news of five Crystal Palace players returning to fitness

New signing Jack Butland is back after the goalkeeper tested positive for coronavirus

New signing Jack Butland is back after the goalkeeper tested positive for coronavirus

Centre-back Gary Cahill also returns following a thigh injury to the former Chelsea defender

Centre-back Gary Cahill also returns following a thigh injury to the former Chelsea defender

‘We just need to assess Tyrick Mitchell before tomorrow who picked up a knock yesterday and Joel Ward,’ Hodgson told reporters on Thursday. 

‘But I’m not making too many complaints, the squad is as big and competitive as I’ve seen it.

‘I’m just trying to keep everybody as happy as possible. It might be the first time I’ve had to leave people out of an 18-man squad – that really is an unusual situation.’

Tomkins returns from a thigh injury

Ayew also tested positive for coronavirus but now returns from quarantine

James Tomkins (left) also returns from injury as does Jordan Ayew (right) does from quarantine

Midfielder James McCarthy is also back in training after picking up an injury with Ireland

Midfielder James McCarthy is also back in training after picking up an injury with Ireland

Palace beat bottom side Fulham 2-1 away last weekend and Hodgson said he expected a tight contest against Wolves, who are unbeaten in their last three Premier League games and ninth in the table, one place below Palace but level on points.

‘We’re expecting a very, very tough game. It’s nice to go there with 10 points and a bit of confidence, but so have they,’ Hodgson said.

‘We do know they have the ability to put you under the cosh for a long period of time, and it will be up to us to produce the quality to relieve that pressure.’

Hodgson also confirmed the club will assess Tyrick Mitchell ahead of the game against Wolves

Hodgson also confirmed the club will assess Tyrick Mitchell ahead of the game against Wolves

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