Duo out of Napoli clash and Dirk’s “wicked” ankle injury

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Daniel Agger and Glen Johnson remain sidelined and will miss Thursday’s Europa League clash away to Napoli.

Christian Poulsen, however, returns to the squad after missing Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Everton.

Reds boss Roy Hodgson told the club’s official website, “After being injured, Agger is now sick, so he has ruled himself out.
“Christian Poulsen has recovered and is okay.

“Glen Johnson is still out injured but I saw he is running today and I would hope he would be back in training when we return on Friday. So he’s not ruled out for Sunday – but is for Thursday.”

Johnson is the subject of speculation linking him with a January move to Italian giants Juventus.

Hodgson is hopeful Dirk Kuyt will make a swift return from his ankle injury picked up on international duty with Holland last week.

But Hodgson admits it’s Kuyt’s injury isn’t looking good at the moment. He added, “Dirk Kuyt has a wicked ankle injury. Everyone tells me it looks worse than it really is and I certainly hope that is the case because it does not look good. It is still very badly swollen.”

Hodgson also hinted that some of the more senior players won’t be travelling with the squad to Italy, with Sunday’s Premier League clash at home to Blackburn, a must-win game for the Reds, in mind.

“I’ll leave some players out that’s for sure. Some of the more important senior players won’t travel because their participation on Sunday is going to be so important to us.

“It’s not just a question of playing three matches in a week it’s also a question of injury. I don’t think our squad is so strong that I can afford to risk them. But it’ll still be a strong team we put out there and I think it’s a chance for some players who have been on the fringes, like David Ngog and others like Ryan Babel who has had very few changes.

“It’s yet another opportunity for these players to blast their way into the team and force me to look at them in a different light, to make sure they are players that are first on the list and not down the pecking order.”

Napoli vs Liverpool gets underway at 6pm on Thursday night.

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