Despite the double blow, the Reds boss could have Naby Keita available for the derby clash and says Diogo Jota is ‘close’ to a return
Jurgen Klopp has confirmed both Fabinho and James Milner will miss Liverpool’s clash with Everton this weekend.
But the Reds boss dismissed rumours of an injury to goalkeeper Alisson Becker, and could have Naby Keita available for selection for the first time since mid-December.
Klopp spoke to reporters on Friday ahead of Saturday’s Anfield meeting, a game which could have huge significance in terms of both Merseyside clubs’ hopes of securing Champions League qualification.
Liverpool head into the game sixth in the table, three points above their neighbours after a run of three straight league defeats.
Everton, too, have wobbled of late, winning just one of their last six in the Premier League.
What’s been said?
Asked for a team news update, Klopp said: “Naby trained yesterday with the team, so we have to see what we make of it.
“Fab was not in training. Nothing really new with him or the others. They all get closer. Fab gets closer, Milly gets closer, Diogo [Jota] gets closer – but not close enough for the weekend.”
How about Alisson?
In a week of rumour and conjecture concerning Liverpool, the latest suggestions surrounded their goalkeeper.
Alisson was not pictured in training photos released by the club on Thursday, leading to some speculation that he might have suffered an injury.
Klopp was asked directly about this during his press conference, and dismissed the idea immediately.
“No, he’s fine. He’s fine,” he said.
What’s been wrong with Keita?
It has been another frustrating season for Liverpool’s £50 million ($70m) man.
Since completing 90 minutes for the first time this season at Crystal Palace on December 19, the Guinea international has not been seen.
Klopp confirmed last week that a hamstring problem had left the 26-year-old sidelined, and he revealed on Friday that Keita had been suffering with illness which had prevented him from training this week too.
He said: “Naby could have been in the squad against Leipzig, but it didn’t make sense because he’d only trained two days with the team. So, we said stay at home, train two days of proper training sessions, but unfortunately Naby got ill a little bit and couldn’t train these two days.
“Yesterday we reintegrated him again. I just don’t know, but we don’t hold him back or whatever. Of course, after the injuries he had, we don’t want to force him in or something like that, but it would be nice to have him.
“Is he able to play a few minutes on Saturday? I don’t know. If he’s not, if we speak about it and it’s better to rather not play a few minutes then it is better to stay away from the team and just train proper, proper.
“Being around, on the bench, are not the most intense things and he needs to get used to the intensity again. No decision made yet, but he is not injured anymore and now we have to figure out how fit he is to play how many minutes.”