Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Naby Keita is Liverpool’s only new absentee ahead of his side’s clash with Everton this weekend.
The Reds visit their Merseyside rivals on Saturday lunchtime, looking to draw level on points with them after the Blues’ 100 percent start to the campaign.
Liverpool’s 7-2 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa is still very much lingering in the memory, so a big response is required from the Premier League champions.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Friday, Klopp said that his players have all returned from international duty unscathed, barring Keita, who has been rumoured to have tested positive for COVID-19:
The players came back healthy, which is good. How fit? We have one-and-a-half days to get them match fit for Saturday. That’s how it is, so we will see.
Naby will not be ready for Saturday.
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This is an undoubted boost for Liverpool, heading into arguably their most testing derby in years. The absence of Alisson is already a major blow, so it was crucial that most key men returned fit and available.
The fact that Fabinho and Roberto Firmino have had two days on the training ground is a particular bonus, considering they were playing on the other side of the world with Brazil.
Klopp now has a decision to make about his personnel for the game, with Fabinho possibly playing at centre-back, due to Joe Gomez’s iffy form and Joel Matip lacking rhythm.
Meanwhile, Thiago, Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum and James Milner are vying for three midfield spots – two if Fabinho is used there – giving the manager a selection headache.
It would be nice to see Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino all start together at Goodison for the first time, although the latter must overcome his poor recent form.