Jurgen Klopp has suggested he will field a rotated side in Saturday’s FA Cup clash with West Ham United, as Dejan Lovren returns from injury.
After a gruelling 120 minutes in Tuesday night’s League Cup semi-final win at home to Stoke City, Liverpool welcome West Ham to Merseyside for their FA Cup fourth-round tie.
Having seen a strong Reds outfit pushed to the limit against the Potters, Klopp was always likely to rotate his side for Saturday.
Speaking to reporters on Friday afternoon however, Klopp indicated that a number of injury issues would affect his team selection.
On a positive note, this includes the return of Lovren from a hamstring issue, with the Croatian centre-back ready to start after featuring on the bench against Stoke—and he is likely to be joined by January loan signing Steven Caulker.
“Dejan is good news, Dejan was on the bench against Stoke and is now back,” Klopp said.
“Caulker is available, for us like a new player.”
The defensive pair could be joined by Nathaniel Clyne, though Klopp was unsure whether the 24-year-old would be available to return after missing Tuesday’s win with a knee injury.
“Nathaniel, possibly,” he revealed.
“[It is] much better, [but] it was knee against knee – really painful.”
If Clyne is unable to feature, Jon Flanagan may continue on the right side of the defence, though Connor Randall is also able to deputise.
Two of the major injury concerns for the season so far, Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge, have been ruled out of contention, however.
Sturridge is still working towards full fitness after a series of problems, and Klopp continues to take a long-term view for his recovery.
“It’s still working, sometimes better, sometimes a bit worse,” he said.
“He’s had a lot of sessions in the last few weeks but it’s always interrupted. He needs consistency in sessions.
“We have to be really sensitive with the information we get, to find a point to really train and build up fitness.
“I saw him playing, I saw him in training.
“There’s no doubt about quality, but that’s not the thing to think about.
“We have to work in this moment, together with Daniel, on his fitness. There’s no doubt he’s a very good player.
“He cannot play tomorrow and for sure not against Leicester [on Tuesday night]. I’m not sure after Leicester to be honest.”
Henderson has recently returned from a troubling heel injury, but was substituted before the hour mark in the win over Stoke.
“He did really well for the team,” Klopp continued.
“[It is a] long-term injury and [he is] still having pain.
“We are in a good way, but we need to use these two or three days then hopefully he’ll have recovered.”
Klopp also confirmed that Philippe Coutinho would remain on the sidelines, but explained that the Brazilian would return to full training shortly.
Without the likes of Henderson, Coutinho and Sturridge, Liverpool will need to be at their best to progress beyond Saturday’s fourth-round clash, but Klopp is confident that a rotated side can secure victory.
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