Naby Keita & Xherdan Shaqiri fitness boost with a week to go until Liverpool vs. Tottenham

24 March 2019

Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri both missed international duty with injury, but could hand Jurgen Klopp a fitness boost as he turns his focus to Tottenham.


Keita is sidelined with a knock that kept him out against Bayern Munich and Fulham, while a groin problem forced Shaqiri to pull out of Switzerland contention.

But while the summer signings were forced to miss qualifiers for their national teams, the priority for Liverpool is to ensure they are available for the run-in.

Neither have featured prominently for Klopp of late, but will no doubt be required as his side continue their push for silverware in both the Premier League and Champions League.

Fortunately, according to the Evening Standard‘s David Lynch, both could be back as soon as the home clash with Spurs on March 31, “should they recover as quickly as hoped.”

This positive news is included in a more wide-ranging assessment of the club’s injury situation, which is clearly improving rapidly.

Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have continued their rehabilitation together during the international break, and are both expected back in full training when the rest of the squad returns to Melwood.

And both Dejan Lovren and Jordan Henderson are involved for their countries this fortnight, having shaken off their respective concerns.

Therefore, only Rhian Brewster can be consider unlikely to be back fit for the final two months of the season, but the 18-year-old’s comeback is being approached with patience, and he is yet to even debut for the first team.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 3, 2019: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold applauds the supporters after the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the Etihad Stadium. Manchester City won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Unsurprisingly, Lynch adds that the back injury that saw Trent Alexander-Arnold withdraw from the England squad to play the Czech Republic and Montenegro is “not considered severe.”

But the right-back is “in line for a well-earned rest,” which coincides with the return of Gomez, though after four months on the sidelines his prospects of playing a key role in the final games seem slim.

Meanwhile, Andy Robertson has revealed that Liverpool “had to step in” and force him to take preventative measures as he discovered an abscess in his mouth that kept him out of Scotland’s 3-0 defeat to Kazakhstan.

Robertson needed surgery to remove a tooth and four stitches in the side of his mouth, which would have been compromised had he made the long flight to Astana.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 3, 2019: Liverpool's Andy Robertson takes a throw-in during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 233rd Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. (Pic by Laura Malkin/Propaganda)

“It had to come out within 24 hours of them finding it, because if it had burst and gone into the bloodstream it could have been nasty,” he explained.

“I really wanted to be there, but it just wasn’t possible.”

But the left-back added that he is “not worried now,” and is set to feature against San Marino on Sunday evening, before returning to continue his excellent form for Liverpool.

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