Liverpool are facing an injury crisis ahead of Monday’s Premier League showdown against Arsenal with fears over Thiago Alcantara and Alisson.
It was hoped that new signing Thiago would make his first start for Jurgen Klopp’s side against the Gunners, after he came on for Jordan Henderson during last week’s win over Chelsea.
However, the Spain midfielder has missed training at Melwood this week – as has goalkeeper Alisson.
Both will have fitness tests on Monday morning but are major doubts ahead of two games against Arsenal in the space of four days, with Mikel Arteta’s side visiting Anfield again for Thursday’s Carabao Cup clash.
Henderson is still sidelined by the thigh injury which forced him off against Chelsea, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is out with a knee injury, so Klopp looks set to be without three senior midfielders.
The Liverpool boss will hope Fabinho can ease the injury crisis in the centre of the park by resuming his normal duties, after he stood in as a centre-half last week amid injuries to Joel Matip and Joe Gomez.
Matip is out until October, but Gomez returned to training on Friday so should be fit to resume his centre-back partnership with Virgil Van Dijk.
That would free up Fabinho to play in midfield alongside Gini Wijnaldum and Naby Keita.
James Milner is a doubt for the game, but Klopp’s midfield options could also be boosted by Curtis Jones, who impressed in the Carabao Cup win over Lincoln in midweek, scoring twice in an all-action display.
However, Alisson’s absence from training is a concern. It is not yet known why either the Thiago or the Reds No1 did not train, but Klopp will hope his first-choice keeper can play against the Gunners.
Alisson missed 10 games at the start of last season, and then more just before the lockdown.
His deputy Adrian had a good spell standing in for the Brazilian early last season, helping the Reds win the European Super Cup in a penalty shoot out, but was poor in the defeats to Chelsea and then Atletico Madrid just before football’s shutdown.
Takumi Minamota, Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi all scored against Lincoln last week while new signing Diogo Jota also made his debut, but are likely to have to settle for places on the bench at best.
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Liverpool got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds.
In terms of transfers the Reds have completed the signing of Thiago Alcantara and Wolves’ Diogo Jota has arrived too, in a shock deal worth a potential £45million.
Youngster Ki-Jana Hoever is set to head to Wolves in a £10million deal, while Gini Wijnaldum continues to be linked with Barcelona. There’s a lot to keep track of.
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Arsenal are likely to have Kieran Tierney available following a groin problem, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Granit Xhaka and Willian should return to the side after Arteta made changes for last week’s Carabao Cup win at Leicester.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Cedric Soares (both calf), Pablo Mari (ankle), Shkodran Mustafi (hamstring), Emile Smith Rowe (shoulder), Calum Chambers and Gabriel Martinelli (both knee) are all missing for the Gunners.
Liverpool predicted XI (4-3-3): Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane.