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Liverpool had at least 18 players unavailable for postponed Arsenal game

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Liverpool’s squad against Shrewsbury on Sunday revealed a lot about who hadn’t been available for the Arsenal game on Thursday before.

The three players who had previously missed the Chelsea game were Alisson, Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino and they were still in isolation ahead of the scheduled Arsenal fixture.

Matip and Firmino returned to training on Friday and were on the bench on Sunday, but Alisson‘s extended absence has not been explained.

In addition, seven more first-team players were missing from the squad – but Jurgen Klopp explained post-match that only one of those (Trent Alexander-Arnold) had followed a positive lateral flow test with a positive PCR test, meaning the others were ‘false-positives’.

Regardless, they weren’t able to train, leading to the training ground being closed down in consultation with the public health authority.

Those players with a false-positive were not involved against Shrewsbury, but are now due to return to training on Monday – ahead of Thursday’s first-leg against Arsenal.

With five players already known to have been injured, plus the Africa Cup of Nations trio, it means that in total 18 first-team players were missing.

“The rules are like they are,” said Klopp on Sunday. “So all these players who were false positive couldn’t play today – or we decided not to play them. We had to make that decision.

“It was a really tough week, because the boys couldn’t train anyway.”

In addition, it has been reported that there were cases among the Reds’ academy, and Klopp told on Sunday that goalscorer Kaide Gordon had only recently returned from covid also.

However, rumours of all the club’s first-team goalkeepers having tested posted appear to have been inaccurate – unless Kelleher and Adrian were further cases of false-positive results.

In isolation:
Alisson, Joel Matip, Roberto Firmino, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Neco Williams, Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez, James Milner, Diogo Jota, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Injured:
Thiago, Divock Origi, Takumi Minamino, Harvey Elliott, Nat Phillips

At Afcon:
Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Naby Keita

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