Liverpool have named Alisson Becker, Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino as the three players to have recorded suspected positive Covid-19 tests.
Jurgen Klopp – who is also positive and misses the game against Chelsea – confirmed at his pre-match press conference on Friday that he would be without three players for Sunday afternoon’s match.
Their identities were not revealed at the time as the club were still awaiting PCR test confirmations. But now, a club statement has clarified the trio who are missing out.
Goalkeeper Alisson, centre-back Matip and striker Firmino will play no part in the match against Chelsea. They are in isolation and have therefore not travelled for the game at Stamford Bridge.
The club then provided clarity that the rest of the squad have tested negative.
Caoimhin Kelleher will be starting in goal instead of Alisson. The centre-back pairing will be between Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate. Up front, Diogo Jota will continue alongside Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
On Friday, Klopp said Liverpool’s Covid situation has been like a “lottery”.
He said: “We never had this proper outbreak where 15 to 20 players had it. For us it is every day, another one, stuff happens more and more often.
“It’s like a lottery in the morning, waiting for the result. It is pretty much day-by-day, always one case, then another one.”
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The absences will come as a blow to Liverpool’s title challenge. They are already 12 points behind leaders Manchester City, albeit with two games in hand. One of those is the clash with second-placed Chelsea at 4:30pm.
They have still been able to field a strong lineup, though, so only time will tell how it affects them.
Liverpool sent Salah message
Meanwhile, Liverpool have received some advice over the future of one of their players who is available, Mohamed Salah.
The Egypt forward’s current deal expires in the summer of 2023. However, concerns over his long-term Anfield future have not stopped Salah having a stellar season so far, with the 29-year-old notching 22 goals and adding nine assists in 25 games in all competitions for the Reds.
However, Micah Richards believes the Reds forward can get even better in 2022 – prompting Liverpool to get a new deal done asap.
“I want Liverpool to finalise a new contract for him and I want him to stay in the Premier League for many more years,” the former Manchester City defender wrote in the Daily Mail.
“He is getting to the level now where we are talking about him being in the Premier League’s Hall of Fame, someone who could be in the all-time team.
“What a player he has become. He is so dangerous that in some matches you don’t see him for 80 minutes but then he will pop up with a goal or an assist. It’s not luck that happens.
“He’s at Cristiano Ronaldo levels now, the one-time winger who has redefined himself to become an ultimate scorer.
“If 2021 was spectacular for Salah, 2022 can be even more so. He looks a certainty at this stage to win the PFA Player of the Year but if Liverpool were to win the Champions League, he will also have an outstanding chance of lifting the Ballon d’Or.”