Liverpool could welcome back James Milner and Naby Keita for the Premier League clash vs Southampton
The Reds’ have faced several injury concerns in their midfield roster, affecting their performances on several occasions. Speaking ahead of the Carabao Cup clash against Derby County, assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders hopes to have the duo back for the weekend.
Both players will miss out on the cup game but have resumed training. The game against the Saints is Liverpool’s final game of the campaign before the World Cup hiatus. The break should aid the players to build up their fitness before the second half of the season.
“Naby will be difficult, he’s still training individually. Let’s see for Southampton.”
Of the duo, Milner is certain to return at the weekend. As for Naby, while there is optimism that he can return, it is far from a given. The Guinean has been frustratingly unavailable for large stretches of his stay on Merseyside and has been a rare flop for the Reds’ recruitment team.
“[Milner] will definitely be ready for Southampton but this game [against Derby] comes too early.”
Liverpool have endured a difficult run of results in the Premier League and will be keen to go into the break with a win. Coming off the wins against Napoli and Tottenham Hotspur, a win should help the squad retain their morale.
Lijnders also gave the latest scoop on the other Liverpool players out injured. Joel Matip continues to recover from his injury setback and is closer to returning to team training.
Luis Diaz is also nearing his return but will not make it in time for the weekend’s clash. Diogo Jota, meanwhile, is still some way away from returning to action and is a long-term absentee.
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As the defending champions, Liverpool will be keen to get their title defence off to a convincing start. Drawing Derby at Anfield is a very favourable draw and anything other than a comfortable win would set the alarm bells ringing.