Blow for Xherdan Shaqiri with Liverpool midfielder to miss MK Dons clash

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Xherdan Shaqiri has been ruled out of Liverpool’s League Cup third-round tie at MK Dons on Wednesday night, with Jurgen Klopp short of options as he rotates.

The Reds head to Milton Keynes on the back of a tough week that saw them lose 2-0 at Napoli before a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Chelsea on Sunday.

That win at Stamford Bridge took its toll on the squad, with Sadio Mane withdrawn after suffering a dead leg, joining Alisson and Divock Origi on the treatment table.

Mane is not expected to be rule out for a lengthy period, but joining him on the absentee list for midweek is Shaqiri, who sustained a calf tear in training on Monday.

Speaking to LiverpoolFC.com before his press conference at Tuesday afternoon, Klopp’s assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders confirmed the Swiss would be unavailable.

“Yesterday towards the end of training, Shaq felt his calf stiffen up a little bit,” he explained.

“He couldn’t continue and a scan showed he had a little tear there.

“We need to wait a couple of days, but for sure he is not in contention for tomorrow. He needs some rest, so he will not be involved.”

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - Wednesday, July 31, 2019: Liverpool's Harvey Elliott (L) and Rhian Brewster during the pre-match warm-up before a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Olympique Lyonnais at Stade de Genève. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Lijnders also ruled out Origi, saying the Belgian “has already been on the pitch, but not with the team yet so that’s his next step.”

The absence of Shaqiri, Mane and Origi, along with a likely rest for Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, could see Klopp experiment with his attack at Stadium MK.

Rhian Brewster is a shoo-in to debut up front, while Curtis Jones may be under contention, as could Harvey Elliott, who one year ago on September 25 became the League Cup‘s youngest-ever player while at Fulham.

Caoimhin Kelleher is expected to start between the sticks, allowing Adrian the night off.

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