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The likely reason Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate and Diogo Jota missed training

A 24-man Liverpool squad was pictured at the AXA Training Centre on Friday, but the trio of Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate and Diogo Jota missed out.

In his pre-match press conference on Friday morning, Jurgen Klopp told reporters that there had been no new injuries in the wake of his side’s 2-0 win over Wolves.

“I assume that’s still the case,” he said, hopefully.

But in the subsequent session in front of the cameras in Kirkby, none of Van Dijk, Konate or Jota were pictured with the squad.

Naby Keita was fit to return after missing the midweek victory with a knock, leaving Thiago, Luis Diaz, Joe Gomez and Calvin Ramsay as the only other absentees.

There were concerns, of course, with three of Wednesday night’s starters – and both centre-backs – missing the session, but they should not be considered doubts at this stage.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 6, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 1 game between SSC Napoli and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Instead, it is more likely that Van Dijk, Konate and Jota were all following individual programmes elsewhere to manage their fitness.

Both Konate and Jota have only recently returned from long-term injuries, and Van Dijk has played the full 90 minutes in each of the last four games following a hamstring issue.

Against Wolves, Konate made his first appearance in over a month, while Jota clocked an intense 76 minutes as he builds rhythm following a four-month layoff.

It is important, therefore, that Liverpool take caution with their workload, with all three in line to start against Man United on Sunday.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, February 20, 2023: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg game between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid CF. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Crucially, Friday’s session was not the Reds’ last before United visit Anfield, and it is likely that Van Dijk, Konate and Jota will rejoin the squad on Saturday.

There are no guarantees, of course, and particularly given Liverpool’s fraught injury situation in recent years.

But taking Klopp’s comments into consideration – and, perhaps tellingly, the decision to leave Rhys Williams with the under-21s despite Gomez’s injury – all signs point to there being no setbacks for Van Dijk, Konate or Jota.


Liverpool squad in training on Friday

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 6, 2022: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 1 game between SSC Napoli and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Kelleher, Adrian, Davies, Pitaluga

Defenders: Matip, Phillips, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Tsimikas

Midfielders: Fabinho, Henderson, Bajcetic, Elliott, Keita, Milner, Jones, Arthur, Oxlade-Chamberlain

Forwards: Salah, Nunez, Gakpo, Firmino, Carvalho