Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has revealed in his Carabao Cup semi-final press conference that vice-captain Trent Alexander-Arnold will not be available for selection due to a knee injury.
The Reds will host Fulham at Anfield tomorrow evening in the Carabao Cup semi-final clash ahead of their winter break and Jurgen Klopp will be hopeful that his men can seal the deal to confirm their spot in the first final of the season with a victory on home turf.
Indeed, the home advantage and Liverpool’s incredible form of late will make the Merseyside giants the favourites to see out the first tie victorious; however, Fulham are no easy opponent, and the hosts will need to ensure they are fully focused to deliver the result.
There have been several injury issues for Klopp to contend with over the last few months, which have thankfully failed to impact results as of yet, but the Liverpool boss will be wary of keeping his most valued players in perfect condition as much as possible over the second half of the season, when big results matter most.
The Anfield faithful will be pleased to know that club captain Virgil van Dijk has returned from illness and will be available for selection tomorrow evening.
However, Lijnders has been the bearer of bad news this afternoon by confirming in his pre-match press conference that Trent Alexander-Arnold will be unavailable as he now undergoes recovery after a scan revealed a tear to a lateral ligament in his knee.
The Dutch coach told Liverpoolfc.com:
“First of all, some not-that-good news, Trent hyperextended his knee during the last game.
“So he has a little tear in the lateral ligament of his knee and he will need time to recover. He had a scan and he will be out for a few weeks, so let’s see after that.
“He will get some rest and then hopefully he can come back to where he was. Because this guy was decisive in all the games and was the one who created constantly for us from deep and gave the team a high level of flexibility. We will really miss him.”
When will Trent Alexander-Arnold return for Liverpool?
The latest news on Alexander-Arnold’s injury will be a devestating blow for Liverpool fans, however, could not have come at a better time with the winter break taking place for the squad following the clash with Fulham.
The mighty Redmen will not return to action after tomorrow evening until the 21st of January, when they will travel to the south coast to defend their Premier League title lead against Bournemouth, but it remains to be seen as to whether the right-back will be fit for return or full team training at that point.
With that being said, judging by Lijnders comments, the injury was serious enough to scan but not too serious that he is talking about a lengthy spell on the side-lines, which is promising considering the number of injuries that have been piling up in recent weeks.
Either way, Alexander-Arnold will be sorely missed in his hybrid role between right-back and midfield, and it will be interesting to see how Klopp deals with the challenge of completing his defensive set-up with Joe Gomez already covering on the opposite side for Kostas Tsimikas and Andrew Robertson.