He wasn’t too pleased going into it, and Jurgen Klopp will now be delighted to see the back of the international break.
The Liverpool manager resumes Premier League combat with his side level on points with Manchester City and Chelsea at the top of the table, and facing a weekend trip to struggling Huddersfield in Saturday’s late fixture.
And given that he spent the last few days worrying about the fitness of Mohamed Salag, Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita, Klopp can be pretty pleased with the players he’s got at his disposal going into the game.
Here’s what we spotted from Melwood on Thursday.
1. Salah returns, and goals should flow
Things didn’t look good for Mo Salah and Liverpool when he pulled up with that muscle injury in the closing stages of Egypt’s 4-1 win over eSwatini (which used to be known as Swaziland) last weekend.
But luckily Salah (who is still known as last season’s Golden Boot winner despite recent struggles) is okay, and will be in the squad for the trip to the John Smith’s Stadium.
With this game, home matches against Cardiff and Fulham and a double-header with Red Star Belgrade on the horizon, don’t be surprised if he gets back into goalscoring form.
2. It takes more than a bruised rib to keep Van Dijk down
A Liverpool Echo poll this week revealed that a massive 82 per cent of Reds fans would consider Virgil van Dijk to be the biggest miss to the Reds of the international quartet to have picked up knocks.
And when you consider that the other three are Salah, Mane and Keita then that is quite the result.
The big Dutchman was being put through his paces at Melwood though, and could be reunited at centre-back alongside Joe Gomez, one of England’s heroes in Spain.
3. James ‘Iron Man’ Milner is back, but he never really went away
When he limped off injured in the goalless draw with Manchester City just before the international break it was thought that that would be the last we’d see of James Milner for a month .
But here he is.
The Yorkshireman took a full part in the session and is in contention for a place back in his home county.
He’s a man of steel.
4. Lallana steps it up, again
After the problems of last season it is almost as though this campaign hasn’t even started for Adam Lallana, but that could all be about to change.
Klopp has been lauding the England international in the build-up to this fixture, and you sense that he’s going to have to take one of the chances that surely come his way in the coming weeks if he’s not to be considered something of a forgotten man any longer.
5. Seen a ghost, Xherdan?
While he won’t have wanted Salah and Mane to get injured of course, Xherdan Shaqiri would only be human if he thought that blows to two of Liverpool’s lauded front three would mean that he’d have a chance in the team.
However, with Salah fit and Mane’s thumb problem not considered too bad, it might well be that the Swiss heads back to the bench for now.
Which could explain why he looked like he’d seen a ghost.
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