Jurgen Klopp has welcomed the return of Virgil van Dijk and Xherdan Shaqiri ahead of Liverpool’s trip to face bitter rivals Manchester United on Sunday.
Star defender Van Dijk missed Tuesday night’s 0-0 Champions League draw with Bayern Munich due to suspension, but will slot straight back into the side at Old Trafford.
The Dutchman will likely partner Joel Matip at the heart of the defence, with Fabinho either moving back into midfield or straight down to the bench.
Gini Wijnaldum, Naby Keita and Jordan Henderson all performed admirably in midfield against Bayern, although it would appear to be a straight fight between the England man and Fabinho for the holding spot.
Shaqiri is also back from an abdominal injury, giving the the Reds boss another attacking option to consider.
Speaking at Melwood on Friday, Klopp expressed his delight at the improving fitness of his squad, although Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez are still sidelined and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rhian Brewster are not yet ready to return.
On Van Dijk’s return, Klopp admitted: “It’s really good to have him back.
“By the way, it’s the first time since I don’t know how many weeks that we have to make a choice.
“Between midfielders, full-backs, even centre-halves if I think about Fabinho again in that position, I could make a decision about it.
“So that’s good. That’s for us a good moment, so far this week obviously because of the Bayern it was more or less a recovery.
“But now we have two sessions to prepare for the game and that’s good.”
As for the players returning from injury and illness ahead of the United clash, Klopp added : “Dejan not in, Joe not in, I think pretty much all the rest are in training at least.
“Rhian Brewster is still only [doing] little parts, Ox in bigger parts, but not ready to play.
“The rest trained and will train with us.
“Usually now I get a message that somebody’s ill, so I’m still a bit nervous about that! But until now I didn’t hear anything.”
Klopp, meanwhile, has given his thoughts on United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ahead of the game at Old Trafford. Read the full story here…
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