The likes of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are racing against time to prove their fitness for Liverpool’s 2018/19 Premier League opener against West Ham United, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp revealed on Friday.
To further complicate matters, Klopp confirmed that centre-back duo Ragnar Klavan and Dejan Lovren will not take any part on Sunday when the Reds host the Hammers at Anfield.
Summer recruit Fabinho is ill and while his scans have come back with a green signal, the former Monaco man remains a doubt as do Henderson and Alexander-Arnold. The English duo only just reported back for pre-season training earlier this week and are not yet match fit.
Gomez and Matip, players with a suspect injury record, are struggling with muscular complaints which means the reds are perilously short of options in central defence.
“The (Fabinho’s) scan was clear. It was only a check-up and the scan was clear, but he felt ill when he came back so we sent him home again. Obviously he was not feeling really well so we sent him home again and I didn’t see him so far and I didn’t ask anybody, so we will see,” Klopp told his pre-match press conference.
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“They (Henderson, Alexander-Arnold and Lovren) are all in a different shape, if you want. Trent is a bit longer in, which is good, Hendo in and full of power but not too long in – now three or four days, but it’s Hendo so you always think about him. Dejan will not be available for the weekend, that’s how it is.
Apart from the aforementioned players, the only other confirmed absentee is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The dynamic English midfielder is out with a serious knee injury and isn’t expected to be back in action till the end of the season.
“Ragnar, no real chance, he didn’t train. Joel did yesterday parts of training like Joe did – we will see how they are today,” the German tactician added.
Liverpool, among the title favourites after their splurges in the transfer market, open their league campaign with a home clash against West Ham on Sunday (1800 IST).