SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - Tuesday, August 25, 2020: Liverpool's Kostas Tsimikas during the pre-match warm-up before a preseason friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by Propaganda)

Kostas Tsimikas among four players to return for Liverpool ahead of Atalanta clash

Kostas Tsimikas made his return to training ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League trip to Atalanta, with Joel Matip, Naby Keita and Billy Koumetio also back.

The Reds head to Italy on Monday afternoon as they prepare for the third clash of this season’s group stage, coming up against a side they have never faced before in Atalanta.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side have been without a number of key players in recent weeks, and that will be no different this time around as Fabinho and Thiago were both absent from training on Monday.

Thiago was the only player with a chance of taking part, but the No. 6 is still following an individual training programme as he recovers from Richarlison’s red-card challenge in the Merseyside derby.

Liverpool’s options are boosted by the return to fitness of Tsimikas, Matip and Keita, however, with the trio having all missed a number of weeks with respective injury problems.

Koumetio also rejoined the first team on Monday after a spell out, though the Frenchman has not been registered as part of the Reds’ Champions League squad.

The same can be said of Nat Phillips, who was part of training but is unable to feature against Atalanta, with Klopp having expected him to join Swansea before the end of the summer.

Phillips shone on his Premier League debut on Saturday, but will be replaced by either Matip or Rhys Williams as partner to Joe Gomez at the back, with Klopp likely to make a handful of changes for the Champions League.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: Liverpool’s Naby Keita during the pre-match warm-up before the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Liverpool won 4-3. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Keita is an option in the middle of the park, but the Guinean could be forced to settle for a bench role as he works his way back to full fitness.

The same is likely of Tsimikas, who will remain backup to Andy Robertson at left-back, with his route into the starting lineup unclear at this point – though chances will, undoubtedly, come.

There was no sign of James Milner as a 19-man outfield squad were put through their paces, but academy midfielder Jake Cain was again present and should be in the matchday squad on Tuesday night.

Alisson and Adrian both trained as normal, with the Brazilian due to keep his place between the sticks.

The only long-term absentees at this point at Virgil van Dijk and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with both Fabinho and Thiago expected back in the coming weeks.

Liverpool squad training pre-Atalanta

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 27, 2020: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino during the pre-match warm-up before the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Liverpool FC and FC Midtjylland at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Adrian

Defenders: Gomez, Matip, R.Williams, Phillips*, Koumetio*, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Tsimikas, N.Williams

Midfielders: Henderson, Wijnaldum, Keita, Jones, Cain

Forwards: Salah, Mane, Firmino, Jota, Minamino, Shaqiri, Origi

* Not part of Champions League squad.