LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 27, 2023: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool could face Darwin Nunez fitness concern for Merseyside derby

Darwin Nunez could be considered a doubt to start for Liverpool against Everton on Saturday, after revealing he suffered cramp late on for Uruguay.

Nunez produced an excellent display as Uruguay beat Brazil for the first time in 22 years on Wednesday, scoring the first and assisting the second in a 2-0 win.

But the Liverpool striker came away with concerns over his involvement in the Merseyside derby, partially due to cramping.

“I come to leave everything on the pitch, and today it showed,” he told El Observador. “I ended up a bit cramped at the end.”

This, combined with the long-haul flight back from Uruguay, a lack of recovery and training time plus the early kickoff at Anfield, suggests he will not start.

Jurgen Klopp opted to rest both Nunez and Luis Diaz for similar reasons after the last international break, while his call to start Alexis Mac Allister against Wolves was widely seen as an error.

Injuries and suspensions, meaning Cody Gakpo, Ben Doak, Curtis Jones and Thiago could or will miss out, make this more difficult against Everton.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 24, 2023: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

But the manager is more likely to start Diaz alongside Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota in attack, with Nunez not expected to miss out but realistically starting on the bench.

The availability of Ryan Gravenberch, who was not called up by the Netherlands for so-called disciplinary reasons, makes resting Mac Allister more feasible.

Dominik Szoboszlai could be joined by any of Gravenberch, Wataru Endo or Harvey Elliott in the two remaining spots in midfield.

Nunez also picked up a minor concern last month with Uruguay, with manager Marcelo Bielsa bringing him off due to “muscular difficulties.”

The 24-year-old was able to come on for the final 34 minutes of the 3-1 win at Wolves just three days later.