Jurgen Klopp revealed an injury setback for Trent Alexander-Arnold and doubts over a handful of others ahead of Liverpool’s FA Cup trip to Nottingham Forest.
Nottingham Forest vs. Liverpool
FA Cup Quarter Final | City Ground
Sunday, 20 March 2022 | 6pm (GMT)
Here are five key things from Klopp’s pre-Forest press conference…
“No good news” on Trent
Just as Liverpool were looking ahead to the run-in with a near fully fit squad, Klopp has been dealt a big blow with a hamstring injury to Alexander-Arnold.
The manager confirmed that his right-back will miss the trip to Forest, as well as England’s friendlies against Switzerland and the Ivory Coast, with his layoff expected to be a matter of weeks.
“Trent is out with [his] hamstring, so he cannot be part of England as well,” he explained.
“No good news. We will see how long that takes.”
Joe Gomez is likely to replace Alexander-Arnold for the quarter-final.
Salah doubt and more issues
Beyond Alexander-Arnold’s setback, Klopp revealed that Mo Salah is suffering with his foot injury, while there are “some other bits and bobs” to monitor.
James Milner and Kostas Tsimikas are still doubts for Sunday due to illness.
“Mo felt his foot again a little bit after the game, so we have to see what we do with that,” Klopp said.
“And on top of that, some other bits and bobs. Really, we have to wait. That’s always like this.
“I want to have a team in Nottingham that is fresh enough, physically and mentally, for the game and really is going for it.”
Not happy with internationals
Following the trip to Forest, the Liverpool squad will depart for the final international break of the season, with many of Klopp’s senior players called up.
This is, of course, a somewhat necessary evil, but the manager looked ahead to the summer and plans for a series of international friendlies in preparation for a mid-season World Cup.
“I think Scotland plans six games for the summer. It’s for money reasons. England has four,” he vented.
“In the summer, when it’s the first time for ages no tournament, what do we do? Oh, plan some more games.”
“FA Cup is Ali”
Despite Caoimhin Kelleher excelling as Liverpool’s cup goalkeeper and starting three of the last five FA Cup games, Klopp has pulled a U-turn and confirmed Alisson will start against Forest.
“Oh, FA Cup is Ali,” he said when asked which of his ‘keepers would start.
This is a blow to Kelleher, who has now likely played his last game of the campaign – that being the League Cup final.
Elliott’s game time
Harvey Elliott made his return from a long-term ankle injury in the fourth-round win over Cardiff, but in the month-and-a-half since then has only made one start and three substitute appearances from 11 games.
Klopp was asked about the situation and denied that it was a case of managing his youngster’s fitness, saying that “it’s the competition for places.”
“He was really long out, came back and immediately looked like ‘wow, he’s back’, but then everything settled slightly and that’s how it is,” he explained.
“A completely normal situation, all fine, training well and nothing else to say.”
Elliott should be in contention for a start at Forest on Sunday, though there is no guarantee Klopp will turn to his No. 67.