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Which Liverpool players clocked the most minutes in the international break?

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The international break is over for another month and the Liverpool squad are returning to Merseyside, but who could require more rest than others after duty?

The Reds are back in action on Sunday with a trip to Leeds, and Jurgen Klopp can finally begin preparations with the majority of his players on Thursday.

After the first international break of the season – which saw many countries play three games including World Cup qualifiers – considerations will need to be made regarding the minutes clocked on duty.

For Liverpool, the busiest during the interval were both of their left-backs, with Andy Robertson (254) and Kostas Tsimikas (223) the only two players on the pitch for over 200 minutes.

This is despite Robertson only recently returning from an ankle injury suffered in pre-season, with Scotland manager Steve Clarke reluctant to rest his captain despite the obvious concerns over further setbacks.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 9, 2021: Liverpool's Kostas Tsimikas during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético Osasuna at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Tsimikas’ two starts and a substitute appearance for Greece could be seen as a positive, though, as he maintains sharpness ahead of likely action for Liverpool this month.

With the League Cup third-round clash with Norwich coming up on September 21, Tsimikas is almost guaranteed at least one start, but Klopp could rotate more heavily at left-back with seven games to play in 21 days.

The next-busiest were Diogo Jota (199), Sadio Mane (180) and Virgil van Dijk (180), who all played at least the equivalent of two full games.

Minutes played by Liverpool internationals

Virgil van Dijk of Holland during the UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier group C qualifying match between Estonia and The Netherlands at A. Le Coq Arena on September 09, 2019 in Tallinn, Estonia

Injured: Takumi Minamino, Harvey Elliott

Van Dijk was rested in the second of the Netherlands’ three fixtures, with Louis van Gaal mindful of overusing the centre-back following his nine-month layoff – which will no doubt please Klopp.

Jordan Henderson (92), Trent Alexander-Arnold (90), Naby Keita (90) and Mohamed Salah (90) were all used sparingly, though the latter two were restricted by circumstances out of their control.

It could be seen as the perfect break for many of Liverpool‘s internationals in terms of game time, and the hope will be that they report back fit and firing ahead of the clash at Elland Road.

DUBLIN, REPUBLIC OF IRELAND - Sunday, October 11, 2020: Republic of Ireland's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher during the pre-match warm-up before the UEFA Nations League Group Stage League B Group 4 match between Republic of Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium. The game ended in a 0-0 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

For Caoimhin Kelleher, though, it was another disappointing trip as he found himself behind Man City‘s Gavin Bazanu in the Republic of Ireland pecking order.

Neither he nor Curtis Jones played a single minute for their countries, with the possibility of Kelleher being thrust cold into a starting role if Alisson is barred from featuring on Sunday.

Finally, both Takumi Minamino and Harvey Elliott picked up injuries on duty which could rule them out against Leeds, though Elliott is not expected to be a major doubt.


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