Liverpool face midfield issues, with Henderson and Keita ruled out

23 October 2018

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed both Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita will miss Liverpool’s Champions League clash with Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday.


Red Star arrive on Merseyside looking to spring a surprise on their high-profile opponents, with Klopp’s side struggling for top form of late.

This inconsistency includes a 1-0 loss to Napoli last time out in Europe, and the Reds will be eager to improve on this with a result more akin to their victory over Paris Saint-Germain.

However, they will need to do so without their captain and their No. 8, with Klopp revealing issues among his midfield selection for the 8pm kickoff.

There are also minor issues for both Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner, though he said they “should be OK.”

Henderson will also miss Saturday’s league match at home to Cardiff, while Keita is doubtful for that match also.

“Naby will not be available (vs. Red Star) and Hendo not as well,” Klopp told reporters in his pre-match press conference

“Naby is in a good way already again, outside running, so we have to see and take it day by day.

“We cannot put any pressure on that, we have to see when he’s fully fit. It should not be that long anymore.

“Hendo got a little hamstring injury in the game, how I understood not too serious but serious enough that he’s not available tomorrow or the weekend.

“And then we count the days, maybe [against] Arsenal he will be back.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, September 17, 2018: Liverpool's Sadio Mane during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and Paris Saint-Germain. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp did, however, provide a more positive update on the fitness of Sadio Mane, who returned to training at the end of last week after minor surgery on his thumb.

“Sadio looked good in training the last two days,” he said.

“He trained completely normally, so if nothing happens he is in contention—I learned that word a second ago! That’s good, we have to see.”

Injuries to Henderson and Keita, and minor issues for both Wijnaldum and Milner, could give opportunities to the rest of Klopp’s squad, and chiefly Fabinho.

The Brazilian made his Premier League debut off the substitutes’ bench in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Huddersfield, and looks to be closing in on a more regular role.

Beyond Fabinho, Adam Lallana and Xherdan Shaqiri are available as first-team options, along with academy prodigy Curtis Jones.

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