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Jurgen Klopp reveals Liverpool injury latest as Alisson Becker and Diogo Jota work towards returns

Jurgen Klopp reveals Liverpool injury latest as Alisson Becker and Diogo Jota work towards returns

Liverpool duo Alisson Becker and Diogo Jota are making good progress in their respective injury recoveries, though Jurgen Klopp is fearing a potentially lengthy lay-off for Joel Matip.

First-choice goalkeeper Alisson and Portuguese forward Jota were both hurt during the recent draw with title rivals Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, with the former suffering a hamstring issue late on and the latter limping off early in the second half with a muscle problem.

Alisson's injury was later confirmed to be not as serious as first thought, with Jota expected to have a longer spell on the sidelines.

But while neither player will be available when Liverpool travel to face bottom club Sheffield United - now with Chris Wilder back in charge after the sacking of Paul Heckingbottom - at Bramall Lane on Wednesday night, Klopp has confirmed that they are both heading in the right direction as a hugely busy period of the fixture list approaches.

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“He was running yesterday outside – on his birthday,” Klopp told reporters of Jota on Tuesday. “And everything goes in the right direction, but nobody told me he will be back in team training today.

"No, there is still some time. And with Ali the same. Obviously Ali is closer but not available for tomorrow definitely.”

However, while Alisson and Jota are likely to return in the weeks ahead, it seems that Matip could be facing a prolonged spell in the treatment room.

Alisson Becker will remain sidelined for Liverpool's trip to Sheffield United (AP)
Alisson Becker will remain sidelined for Liverpool's trip to Sheffield United (AP)

The former Cameroon defender suffered a knee injury during Sunday's dramatic 4-3 comeback win over Fulham at Anfield, with Klopp admitting after the game that it would "not be a short one."

Quizzed on Tuesday if he could now say exactly how long Matip will be out of action for, the manager replied: “No, I don’t know exactly but it doesn’t look good, that’s something we can say.

“The scan is not done yet so we don’t know exactly, but it’s not great. From the first second it was clear, we spoke to him and said, ‘No, that’s not good.’ But how long, I don’t know.”

In addition to Alisson, Jota and Matip, Liverpool will remain without long-term absentees Andy Robertson, Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic for their midweek meeting with the struggling Blades.

The trip to South Yorkshire will reacquaint Klopp with former sparring partner Wilder, with the Reds coach admitting that he could now "bin his analysis" on Sheffield United following their change of manager.

Klopp also leapt to the defence of Caoimhin Kelleher following criticism of the performance from Alisson's deputy against Fulham, while he also made it abundantly clear that he would not be swayed by the growing clamour to permanently install the versatile Trent Alexander-Arnold in a central midfield role following his influential cameo there at the weekend.

"I'm not stubborn and don't want to play him midfield, not at all, but I am not part of the discussion," he said.

"You can discuss it as much as you want but it will not have any influence.

"We still have to make decisions on what is best for the team and Trent sees it exactly the same way.

Klopp will not be influenced by the debate around Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Klopp will not be influenced by the debate around Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

"He wants to play and from my point of view he has to be influential and we have to make sure we help him with the positioning.

"He became one of the most successful players in the history of Liverpool, in the recent history, playing as a right-back. He became a Premier League player as a right-back. He can play more inside definitely.

"He will play where it is best for us. What do we have available? Is Joey (Joe Gomez) there, is Conor (Bradley) there? If they both are there do we have to play one of them at left-back because Kostas (Tsimikas) cannot play all the games?

"Yes, Trent can play midfield but we always knew that Trent can play the role we gave him now very well as well.

"If you want to be good he has to be influential from all different areas because it just makes us better if he plays a good game."