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Joe Gomez absent as key midfielders train ahead of Liverpool vs. Atletico

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On the eve of Liverpool’s Champions League meeting with Atletico Madrid, the squad put the finishing touches on their preparations, with Fabinho and Thiago firmly back in the mix.

A 24-man squad took to the Kirkby’s training pitches on Tuesday afternoon, gearing up for their chance to secure a place in the last 16 with two games to spare.

The Reds have a 100 percent record in the Champions League and Anfield will play host as Jurgen Klopp‘s men look to maintain it and, in turn, extend their unbeaten run to 25 in all competitions and equal the club record.

They received a timely boost in their bid to do so with Klopp confirming both Fabinho and Thiago are “in contention” to start on Wednesday evening after their respective returns from injury.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, November 2, 2021: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 4 game between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético de Madrid. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With Naby Keita now sidelined “for a while” due to the hamstring injury sustained in the draw with Brighton, it’s a case of two midfielders in and one out.

And while question marks remain over the returning duo’s capabilities to start, Klopp can add the pair to Jordan Henderson, Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as his midfield options.

They were all under the watchful eye of Klopp and his backroom staff on a cold, wet evening, as was 18-year-old Tyler Morton, who has impressed in his two outings this season.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, November 2, 2021: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 4 game between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético de Madrid. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

While the defensive players were out in full force Joe Gomez was notably absent for the second session in succession, which will leave Virgil van Dijk to partner Joel Matip or Ibrahima Konate at Anfield.

Kostas Tsimikas, who was sporting a black eye, could push for a starting berth against Atletico and Diogo Jota will be eager to return after starting from the bench against Brighton.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, November 2, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 4 game between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético de Madrid. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, November 2, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (C) with elite development coach Vitor Matos (L) and first-team development coach Pepijn Lijnders (R) during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 4 game between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético de Madrid. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The manager has options with just four members of his senior squad absent in Keita, Gomez, Milner and Harvey Elliott.

And he knows the side he picks will have a tough task ahead of them “against one of the best sides in the world, one of the most determined sides in the world and one of the most motivated sides in the world.”


Liverpool squad in training on Tuesday

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Kelleher, Adrian, Pitaluga

Defenders: Van Dijk, Matip, Konate, Robertson, Alexander-Arnold, Tsimikas, Williams, Phillips

Midfielders: Thiago, Fabinho, Henderson, Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Morton

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

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