Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool squad appeared to be in high spirits during their penultimate training session before their tricky Premier League clash away at Leeds United
Liverpool are aiming to build on their promising start to the Premier League season with another victory away at Leeds United – a result that would mark their first league win at Elland Road since October 2002.
The draw came in their last league outing when they met a title rival in Thomas Tuchel’sChelsea, who came away from the tie the happier after his Blues side held on for a 1-1 draw despite playing much of the contest with ten men.
Ahead of their tricky trip to face Marcelo Bielsa’s side in front of what is sure to be a packed Elland Road, Mirror Sport spotted five things from their most recent training session that make for welcome reading for the Anfield faithful.
A fully fit Virgil van Dijk
Every Liverpool fan must have gasped upon seeing their star centre-back fall to the floor and nurse an ankle injury during the Netherlands recent 6-1 over Turkey.
Klopp admitted it gave him a fright, revealing: “With Virgil, that was obviously a scary moment, you can imagine. I sent him a message after the game, ‘Are you alright?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘100 per cent?’ ‘200 per cent.’ ‘Come on, send me a video of you without limping…’ ‘I’m only limping off.
“So he called me from the bus and said, ‘Boss, I’m fine!’ I said, ‘Why are you limping then?’ He said, ‘My wife asked the same!’ So, yeah, that was a bit of a tricky moment but apart from that, no, all fine.”
The Dutchman was pictured in training looking ready and raring to return to club matters.
A return for James Milner
When Liverpool last made the trip to Elland Road for a Premier League fixture back in February of 2004 more than 17 years ago, James Milner was named in the Leeds starting eleven.
All these years later, the 34-year-old is in contention to face his former side in Liverpool colours, though he could be the subject of a late fitness test.
When pressed on whether Milner will play, Klopp explained: “Millie [Milner], we have to see. Millie has to be part of team training yet, he was not part of team training so far, so we will see what he can do today. But he will get closer definitely.”
As pictured, Thursday marked Milner’s return to team training – boosting the likelihood of him featuring against his old team.
Konate pushing for a start
Acquired for £36m in the summer from Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig, Ibrahima Konate would go on to be Liverpool’s only bit of business all summer.
Despite this, the 22-year-old Frenchman is yet to actually feature in a competitive game for his new side – only playing deputy to Van Dijk and Joel Matip thus far.
Konate recently heaped praise on one of the men keeping him out of the team in Van Dijk, telling HypeBeast : “Virgil is incredible, I can’t wait to play alongside him and learn from him.
“He’s truly one of the best in the world in that position.”
The Brazilian’s in training
Were FIFA right to ban the Brazilians from playing? Have your say here.
Liverpool will be without their three Brazilian stars in goalkeeper Alisson Becker, midfielder Fabinho and forward Roberto Firmino.
The trio were all stopped from reporting for international duty by the club as they would then have been required to quarantine upon their return.
As a result, the Brazilian FA have had an official request to prevent them from playing this weekend in response accepted by FIFA.
A chance for the Ox to impress
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has struggled to have much of an impact in recent years for Liverpool, injuries hampering the impressive start he made to life at Anfield.
The former Arsenal man was pictured alongside his teammates in training today as he aims to force his way into his manager’s plans in time for Leeds.
Given Fabinho is likely to be ruled out and the Reds opting against replacing the now departed Gini Wijnaldum, there could be a place in the middle of the park at Elland Road for the 28-year-old.