Liverpool dealt double injury boost as Klopp’s options increase vs. Newcastle

Jurgen Klopp should have two more options in midfield and another in defence after a welcome sight in training on Thursday, as preparations for Newcastle ramp up.

The Reds will be looking to put a week of disappointment behind them when Newcastle arrive at Anfield on Saturday, after a 1-1 draw with Leeds on Monday night.

It will be the first time they have been in action since Fenway Sports Group’s Super League humiliation, with a place in the Premier League‘s top four now imperative.

A win over Newcastle would push Liverpool in the right direction, as they look to move above the likes of Tottenham, West Ham, Chelsea and Leicester, ahead of a clash with Man United on May 2.

Klopp was forced to rejig his defence once again at Elland Road, with Nat Phillips unavailable due to a minor hamstring injury, but the 24-year-old could be back in contention for the weekend.

Phillips was pictured in light training alongside rehabilitation fitness coach David Rydings on Thursday, and if he is able to join the full session the following day he should be considered for a start.

Curtis Jones was also back involved after missing the last three games, with spirits high within the squad as they eye a successful run-in.

Jones has not featured for Liverpool since the 1-0 defeat to Chelsea on March 4, going five games as an unused substitute before picking up an injury that ruled him out against Aston Villa, Real Madrid and Leeds.

But the 20-year-old should be in consideration as Klopp shuffles his pack in midfield, tailoring his trio to the various challenges ahead.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 27, 2020: Liverpool's Nathaniel Phillips during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Bromwich Albion FC at Anfield. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

More importantly, Phillips’ return would allow Fabinho to move back into his natural No. 6 role, with Gini Wijnaldum having dropped deeper at Leeds as the Brazilian partnered Ozan Kabak at centre-back.

There was no sign of Diogo Jota in the latest images from Kirkby, though that is no indication he is injured, with Klopp set to provide a fitness update on his squad in his pre-match press conference at 1.30pm on Friday.

Neither Caoimhin Kelleher or Divock Origi appear to be back, however, and of course, none of Virgil van Dijk, Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez or Joel Matip were involved.

Ben Woodburn remains part of the training squad, with fellow under-23s midfielder Leighton Clarkson taking part in the session too.