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Hendo & Robbo relieve fitness concerns – but Klopp admits “all players are in the red zone”

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Jordan Henderson and Andy Robertson were involved in training on Friday despite fitness worries after Ajax, while Trent Alexander-Arnold and Naby Keita both returned.

Speaking after Tuesday night’s 1-0 victory over the Eredivisie champions, Jurgen Klopp expressed concern over minor injuries for two of his most important players.

“I don’t know, things like this show up the next day slightly different,” he said, “but in the moment I’m slightly positive about it.”

Fortunately, as the Reds took to Kirkby to prepare for the visit of Wolves, both Henderson and Robertson were involved in the full session, as the manager also welcomed back Alexander-Arnold and Keita.

The likes of James Milner, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were still absent, along with Virgil van Dijk and Thiago – the latter of which has not been pictured in the gym at all since picking up his knee injury.

It did not take long for Robertson and Alexander-Arnold to pick up where they left off, with the pair arguing over whether or not the right-back had been nutmegged in a rondo.

Klopp called upon youngsters Jake Cain, Leighton Clarkson and Billy Koumetio along with the more regular options of Rhys Williams, Neco Williams and Curtis Jones, while Vitezslav Jaros and Marcelo Pitaluga both trained with John Achterberg’s group.

There are no new injury problems for Liverpool ahead of Sunday’s clash, though Klopp did admit that “all players are in the red zone” when questioned on the continued involvement of Gini Wijnaldum.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum 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. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Wijnaldum has played the third-most minutes of any player so far this season, behind only Robertson and Mohamed Salah, and speaking to Dutch broadcasters after the win over Ajax said he was “blessed to stay fit.”

“We take it like it is. Gini was fine now all the time, and after the game,” Klopp explained.

“I don’t want to make a big thing of it. Gini’s playing, great. It’s good that he’s playing.

“It’s nothing to do with the contract situation. I don’t want to talk about it because if we start talking about these kinds of things then next time another player is down, so we just don’t want to talk about it.

“All players are in the red zone, not only Gini.”

With no progress in the push for a return of the five sub rule this season, Klopp will continue to gamble with the fitness of his squad, with calculated risks taken every game.

But at present, the situation can be seen as relatively positive, as key players return to availability and Liverpool benefit from a rare break of four days between fixtures.


Liverpool squad training on Friday

Goalkeepers: Kelleher, Adrian, Jaros, Pitaluga

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

Midfielders: Henderson, Wijnaldum, Jones, Keita, Cain, Clarkson

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

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