Joel Matip and Naby Keita give big boost for Atalanta trip – but Thiago still out

Joel Matip and Naby Keita are now back in full training and could be in contention for Liverpool’s clash with Atalanta, but Thiago is still yet to return. 

The Reds make the trip to Bergamo this week for a first-time meeting in the Champions League, with Atalanta the opponents for their third group stage tie.

Jurgen Klopp‘s squad is beset with injuries at present, but the manager could call upon two key players again for Tuesday night.

Speaking ahead of his pre-match press conference on Monday, Klopp confirmed that both Matip and Keita have reported back for full training, and a late call would be made on their involvement in Italy.

However, he added that Thiago is not yet back with the squad, as the Spaniard continues his recovery from an injury suffered in the Merseyside derby.

“Naby and Joel trained yesterday with the team, full, Thiago didn’t. So, that’s the situation,” Klopp told the club’s official website.

“I have really no idea what I do with this information in the moment because yes, they trained, that’s good, it’s better than if they don’t train. But we have to see what we do with it.

“We have another day to make these decisions. A lot of players will be on the plane hopefully, and so decisions will be made late, late, late.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 17, 2020: Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara (L) and manager Jürgen Klopp walk back to the dressing room at full time after an injury time winning goal was disallowed following a VAR review during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 237th Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Thiago could still make his comeback in Monday’s training session, however, but it is unlikely he will be part of the squad to travel to Bergamo either way.

If Matip is back, though, it could give Klopp a solution at centre-back, with the No. 32 likely to partner Joe Gomez and allow Rhys Williams to take a place on the bench.

In his press conference, the manager hinted Matip would be considered for a start, saying: “We have more centre-halves available than we probably will line up together which is good!”