EPL

Liverpool to assess Henderson before Villa after skipper is ruled out of Arsenal clash

By Sports Desk September 30, 2020

Liverpool will assess Jordan Henderson to see if he can face Aston Villa after it was confirmed the Reds' skipper misses out again against Arsenal in the EFL Cup.

England midfielder Henderson sat out Monday's 3-1 win over the Gunners in the Premier League having lasted just 45 minutes of the victory against Chelsea in the previous top-flight match due to a thigh injury.

Henderson was ruled out of the upcoming EFL Cup fourth-round match against the Gunners and remains a doubt for the fixture at Villa this weekend, and potentially also for England over the international break.

Assistant boss Pep Lijnders offered an update on Henderson, as well as Joel Matip (muscular) and Kostas Tsimikas (thigh), who are also unavailable against Arsenal on Thursday.

"Yeah, Jordan we will re-evaluate on Friday after this game to see if he's ready with Villa or at least to train with the team," he said.

"We have of course Joel, who was progressing well but won't be back until after the international break.

"Kostas needs few more days. He felt his thigh in the Lincoln game. We thought it would settle but it didn't so he will be out of the next two games."

Thiago Alcantara, who joined from Bayern Munich in this transfer window, is self-isolating at home after returning a positive test for coronavirus.

Lijnders said there are no concerns for the wider squad due to protocols in place at the club.

"Health and family are the most important things in life. We wish him a speedy recovery, but I wish everyone who is fighting this virus a speedy recovery," he said.

"It's a big compliment to our structure, we have testing in place with the Premier League but we also do private testing.

"The most important thing is following discipline rules, we're following disciplining rules, we test immediately when these things happen so everything is okay."

Lijnders said the win over Arsenal was one of the most impressive performances he has seen during his time at the club but stressed the EFL Cup tie against the same opponents is an altogether different test.

"It's one of my favourite games since I've been here, going 1-0 down, playing how we play, no ego, constant team play, being dominant in each game moment over 90 minutes, pressing and counter pressing," he said.

"I'm really happy with that game, we are happy of course.

"We go from the Premier League to the EFL Cup, so it is a final - it is a proper win or lose. Mikel has established a clear identity at Arsenal - they will try to improve, but that is the same for us, despite there being only two days in between."

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