Liverpool FC given double injury boost ahead of decisive upcoming fixtures

17 April 2018

Jurgen Klopp is expected to be boosted by the improving fitness of two of Liverpool’s key defenders as he prepares for this month’s pivotal run.


The Reds are next in action away to West Brom in the Premier League on Saturday, before hosting AS Roma in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Tuesday night.

Their trip to the Hawthorns kicks off a spell of five games in 16 days, with their season closer at home to Brighton coming a week later.

Klopp will be looking to wrap up Liverpool’s domestic goals before that clash on May 13, as his side push for second place while maintaining their hopes of lifting a sixth European Cup.

It had been suggested that the manager could turn to some of the club’s academy stars in light of a clutch of injuries within his squad, but these issues are being slowly relieved.

According to the Telegraph‘s Chris Bascombe, Klopp has been buoyed by the imminent return of Joe Gomez.

Meanwhile, Dejan Lovren‘s withdrawal in the second half of Saturday’s 3-0 win at home to Bournemouth with a groin problem is believed to have been “a precaution.”

The availability of both Gomez and Lovren for this vital period that also includes clashes with Stoke City (H) and Chelsea (A) in the league and the second leg at Roma in the Champions League is a major lift.

Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius and Dejan Lovren celebrate at the end of the match - Nigel French/EMPICS Sport

Lovren has enjoyed something of a resurgence in fortunes alongside Virgil van Dijk of late, and it has been essential given the season-ending injury to Joel Matip.

Ragnar Klavan replaced the Croatian at centre-back at the weekend, but both he and Van Dijk are naturally left-sided defenders, and their pairing is so far untested, which would be a big risk.

Having Lovren available for the semi-final is hugely positive, and he will likely start both legs against Roma as Liverpool push for a final against either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich.

The return of Gomez is arguably an even bigger boost, as the 20-year-old provides Klopp with further flexibility at the back.

Gomez has largely operated as a right-back this season, alternating with Trent Alexander-Arnold in the absence of Nathaniel Clyne, who has since made his comeback from a long-term back injury.

But the ex-Charlton youth has designs on a future at centre-back, and without Matip he stands as Klopp’s second choice on the right side of a pairing.

The prospect of Gomez starting in a European decider at the heart of the defence could be problematic given his inexperience, but the influence of Van Dijk should allay any fears.

More from This Is Anfield


Fan Comments