Liverpool handed another international ‘boost’ ahead of Huddersfield clash

14 October 2018

The current international break has been ‘kinder’ to Liverpool than usual, with Virgil van Dijk the latest player to depart from duty as a precaution.


The Reds saw 30 players join their national teams for the October break, including 19 from Jurgen Klopp‘s first-team squad.

With the majority of his key names leaving Merseyside, the manager will have been eager to avoid any serious injuries that could hamper the momentum of Liverpool’s title challenge.

So far, it seems that while some have sustained minor fitness issues, the club have been able to liaise with their international counterparts to ensure these do not develop further.

Mohamed Salah left the Egypt squad after limping off in the closing stages of Friday’s 4-1 victory over Swaziland, with assistant manager Hany Ramzy claiming it was a “strong muscle strain” and is “not serious.”

The 26-year-old flew back to Liverpool on Sunday to undergo treatment at Melwood, and can hopefully return to action against Huddersfield Town next Saturday.

It was also confirmed this weekend that Van Dijk would now head back to the club after scoring in the Netherlands’ 3-0 victory over Germany.

This comes with the KNVB revealing that the centre-back was “still suffering from a rib injury,” which initially saw Klopp urge him to opt out of duty.

Gini Wijnaldum, however, remains with Ronald Koeman’s squad, and could well keep his place in the side for Tuesday’s friendly against Belgium.

England's Jordan Henderson during the FIFA World Cup Group G match at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium

Meanwhile, Jordan Henderson picked up a yellow card early on in England’s drab 0-0 draw with Croatia on Saturday, ruling him out for Monday night against Spain.

And though the withdrawals of both Van Dijk and Salah should not be considered positive as they are due to injuries, that they are seen as precautionary is a boost.

Klopp should, therefore, be able to call upon a well-rested trio as part of his starting lineup at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Joel Matip, Alberto Moreno, Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge were among those not called up for international duty, providing the Reds with a strong core.

That Brazil’s last game of the break is on Tuesday evening is also a plus, allowing Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino to return with more time than usual.

Senegal and Guinea also play that day, meaning Sadio Mane and Naby Keita can travel back to fully prepare for Huddersfield.

Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson and Xherdan Shaqiri will rejoin their team-mates in midweek, too, hopefully ensuring a full-strength Liverpool side next weekend.

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