Soccer

Liverpool handed huge injury boost ahead of Premier League meeting with Man Utd

Liverpool have been handed a major injury boost in their preparations to face Manchester United this Sunday.

The Reds have seen their form drop off in recent weeks after failing to win in the Premier League in three attempts.

Two draws and one loss has seen them relinquish top spot to United, their old rivals.

It has been a difficult period for Jurgen Klopp, who has had to contend with the fact he has been without a senior centre-back.

Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are likely out for the season while Joel Matip also has an injury.

But Liverpool have received a boost after pictures emerged of training on Friday.

Matip is now back in training and was seen being put through his paces ahead of this Sunday's clash against United.

It means Liverpool now have a centre-back to call upon that is not either a youngster or a midfielder being forced to play there.

The Cameroon international has missed the last three matches, including a 1-0 defeat to Southampton.

However, Klopp was coy on a return to the first-team – insisting he will not rush the 29-year-old.

He said: "Joel is close. Does it now make sense to throw him into a game with one or two sessions, which he didn't do yet, but today and tomorrow he might be involved?

"To bring him [in], I don't know. We have to see, we have to decide.

"We have to look at him and how he will train, how he looks in training and these kind of things, but we have still different solutions.

"Hendo is very important in midfield for us as well, so we just have to see. It's not decided yet, why should I?"

However, there was less positivity over Naby Keita – whose Liverpool career has been dogged by injuries.

Klopp added: "Naby is not ready for involvement. It's not a big thing; it's a little bit like with other players in the past when they came back from injuries and then because of the amount of games and situation in the squad they had to play.

"Then a little injury happened again. Now we just had to put on the brake and say, 'Let's settle it properly.'

"In the moment we have alternatives in midfield, so we really try to give him all the time he needs to get 100 per cent fit. That's the situation, so no, he is not in contention for Sunday."

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