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Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Saturday’s Merseyside derby with Everton will come too soon for Fabinho, Diogo Jota and James Milner, but Naby Keita could make a long-awaited comeback alongside Liverpool.
The Reds have been plagued with injuries this season and, in recent weeks, several players have joined absent Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip in the treatment room.
In Fabinho’s absence, Jordan Henderson has been forced into the center-back position, and that has put further pressure on Klopp’s midfielders, especially with Keita and Milner also on the sidelines.
Diogo Jota hasn’t been seen since December, but while Klopp is optimistic about the condition of each of his injured stars, Keita is the only returning player he hopes to have available at Anfield on Saturday.
About Keita specifically, Klopp told reporters (via Liverpool Official Website): “Naby trained with the team yesterday, so we’ll have to see what we do with him. It’s unlucky. He could have been in the team against Leipzig but it didn’t make sense. So he stayed home and trained, but managed sick and couldn’t train until yesterday.
“We don’t hold him back or force him in. It would be nice to have him.”
Confirming that Fabinho did not train on Friday, Klopp said: “Fab is coming, Milner is coming, Diogo is coming, but not in time for the weekend.”
It has been speculated that goalkeeper Alisson would be missing through injury, but Klopp was quick to dismiss those reports. He also took the opportunity to defend the Brazilian, who has been criticized for recent high-profile mistakes against Man City and Leicester.
He said: “Alisson is fine. My confidence in him, nothing has changed. We are all human and he showed it in the last two games.” [City and Leicester]. It is not a problem. It’s work and he’s doing it. He doesn’t get up and think he’s a world-class goalkeeper. Ali is too smart to ignore mistakes. Completely normal. “