Liverpool will head to West London tomorrow night for the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final clash with Fulham, and Pep Lijnders has been in the hot seat today, delivering updates on the ongoing injury issues at the club.
The Reds will be back in action again at Craven Cottage on Wednesday evening to hopefully secure their spot at Wembley in the final of the Carabao Cup next month.
Jurgen Klopp’s squad are in imperious form and already lead Fulham 2-1 going into the away clash, so it will be a case of now just finishing off the job without any hiccups.
As always, assistant manager Pep Lijnders took the pre-match press conference this morning and has given a comprehensive insight into the current injury status of several key players who have been fighting for fitness to return to the pitch.
On Trent Alexander-Arnold, the Dutch coach revealed to LiverpoolFC.com:
“Trent is progressing well through his rehab, working hard – how he is as a guy, knowing how important the next weeks are. But he will back in the end of the week for team training, so hopefully, he will be available for the FA Cup.”
On Andrew Robertson:
“He trained yesterday with the team. It’s now 13 weeks, he had his meeting with the surgeon to make sure that everything is right to go into full contact – it’s clear. So he did a lot of work and really good rehab throughout the last period, so he’s fit in terms of sports science. Now he has to get fit with proper team training.”
“So that’s a big, big advantage to have him back. We were waiting for a long time – he’s one of our captains. I just met him in the canteen and he said, ‘Pep, I have my tracksuit with me!’ So he’s pushing himself into the squad, so that’s good. He will travel [to Fulham].”
On Dominik Szoboszlai:
“Dom trained yesterday with us, just one small-sided game, one-touch game, but played good, felt good, did some extra work with the sports science team. He is ready but tomorrow comes too early for him, so he will be ready for the weekend if nothing goes wrong.”
And finally, on Kostas Tsimikas:
“Kostas is now four weeks after surgery, so he needs probably two more weeks because we need to make sure that the bone is strong and the bone is healed before he goes into first-team training.”
Our thoughts on Pep’s injury update…
There is no doubt that the imminent return of Andy Robertson will be warmly welcomed by Liverpool supporters, as he has been an integral and popular member of the squad for many years.
Having the Scotsman’s experience and winning mentality back in the starting eleven could not have come at a better time and will be invaluable for the Merseyside giants.
The Reds will be contending with the challenges of progressing in the Europa League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup, alongside maintaining their position at the top of the Premier League over the next months, so Robertson will be a valuable asset to have back on the left flank.
His fellow full-back and vice captain Alexander-Arnold will be another welcome returnee in the coming days, despite taking a very convincing three points away from their clash with Bournemouth, Liverpool definitely missed the clinical play-making that Trent provides on the right side.
Both Szoboszlai and Tsimikas will provide vital depth when there is much-needed rotation in the starting eleven as Klopp juggles the demanding fixture schedules, and it would be no surprise to see the Hungarian midfielder comfortably competing for a starting spot in the centre of the pitch.
With that being said, Liverpool look to be getting over the brunt of their injury issues in perfect timing, which will only benefit Klopp further in his pursuit to put the club back into the conversation for some serious trophies this season.