Alisson and Fabinho are back in contention for Liverpool ahead of Thursday's clash with Chelsea, and Diogo Jota could potentially return if he manages to shake off an illness.

Brazil international goalkeeper Alisson missed the 2-0 weekend win at Sheffield United following the death of his father, with Adrian deputising at Bramall Lane.

It was not immediately clear how long Alisson would be absent for, but Klopp confirmed on Wednesday that he has trained all week and is in line to face Chelsea at Anfield.

Alisson's international colleague Fabinho has also been out lately, missing each of Liverpool's previous four matches across all competitions due to a muscular injury.

He will return to the squad as well on Thursday, though Klopp was a little less certain regarding Jota, who has not played since damaging knee ligaments in December.

However, the doubt surrounding the former Wolves star only relates to a stomach complaint, rather than a setback with his knee.

"Ali trained full week, so yes, we should expect he is ready to return," Klopp told reporters. "Fab has now five or six sessions in his legs, we have to make a decision about how we deal with that, but he looks good, he's ready for squad for sure.

"And Diogo had now a little stomach problem, or whatever you can say. He trained yesterday only a little bit – he was only out there for the warm-up, rondo and a little run, so…

"We got the message this morning that he feels better so we'll see what we can do with that. Before, he was doing exceptionally well but unfortunately got ill overnight and now we have to see how big the steps are that he can make towards the team again."

Fabinho has played much of the season away from his natural role in midfield, instead filling in as a centre-back such has been Liverpool's struggle with injuries.

Klopp was unsure whether he will be required at centre-back again, though he made no secret of how important he felt it would be to restore some familiarity to the midfield.

"Both [Fabinho in defence and midfield] is possible, which is good, it gives us options," he said. "If we can find a way to play him in midfield, that would be helpful.

"Our most consistent player this season is probably [Georginio] Wijnaldum, touch wood and long may it continue. He's played as a number six and pretty much all other positions, but with Fab in as a six would be helpful in some games. We will see. Both positions are intense.

In the past we had to play the players when they came back immediately because another player left pitch injured the game before, this time we don't have to do that.

"That's the first time, maybe. There's still a lot of games to come, so we'll see - is Fab close enough to start or is he only ready for the bench? Then which positions. These decisions are still to be made, though even if I had made them already, I wouldn't tell you exactly what my decision was."

Naby Keita may make his Liverpool return in Saturday's Merseyside derby but Fabinho remains absent against Everton.

Guinea midfielder Keita has not featured since the Reds' 7-0 mauling of Crystal Palace on December 19 due to an ankle injury but was back in training this week.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will take another check on Keita before the meeting with the Toffees at Anfield, though the German confirmed Fabinho – who missed the Premier League loss to Leicester City and Champions League win over RB Leipzig with a muscular issue – will sit out again, meaning captain Jordan Henderson is likely to partner Ozan Kabak once more in defence.

"Naby trained yesterday with the team, so we have to see what we make of it," Klopp told a news conference.

"Fab was not in training, all the others not as well. Nothing new.

"They all get closer – Fab gets closer, Millie [James Milner] gets closer and Diogo [Jota] gets closer, but not close enough for the weekend."

Klopp explained Keita could have been in contention to face former club Leipzig in midweek, a Champions League last-16 first-leg match played in Budapest that Liverpool won 2-0, only for illness to interrupt his recovery.

"Naby could have been in the squad against Leipzig, but it didn't make sense because he'd only trained two days with the team. So, we said stay at home, train two days of proper training sessions, but unfortunately Naby got ill a little bit and couldn't train these two days," he added.

"Yesterday we reintegrated him again. I just don't know, but we don't hold him back or whatever. Of course, after the injuries he had, we don't want to force him in or something like that, but it would be nice to have him.

"Is he able to play a few minutes on Saturday? I don't know. If he's not, if we speak about it and it's better to rather not play a few minutes then it is better to stay away from the team and just train proper, proper.

"Being around, on the bench, are not the most intense things and he needs to get used to the intensity again. No decision made yet, but he is not injured anymore and now we have to figure out how fit he is to play how many minutes."

Jurgen Klopp promised Alisson has the full support of Liverpool's dressing room as he backed the goalkeeper to bounce back from his Manchester City nightmare.

The Reds boss also revealed that Fabinho has suffered an injury blow, ruling the midfielder turned stand-in centre-back out of Saturday's trip to Leicester City.

In his tale of two Brazilians, Klopp said he had taken Alisson aside this week to check on the shot-stopper after his error-plagued performance in Sunday's 4-1 defeat to Pep Guardiola's men at Anfield.

Two poor clearances with his feet presented City with chances from which they ruthlessly capitalised, and now Liverpool are 10 points adrift in the Premier League title race, the champions' hopes of a successful defence seemingly in tatters.

Klopp said: "We had of course a little talk. If it was about encouragement or what, I don't know. It's just a little talk.

"He was not happy that it happened, of course, but it's very important in a moment like this to realise in a long career goalkeepers make mistakes.

"For a goalkeeper of the quality of Alisson Becker it's pretty rare that he makes this kind of mistakes, and that he makes two of them in one game, that's clear as well.

"But goalkeepers are used to making mistakes. It means they have to stay in a game. They concede a goal and they know earlier than maybe all the rest of the world – 'I should have saved it' – and have to deal with that always.

"He has just a few days in between the City game and this game and there was absolutely no real criticism from our side, from the boys, the players around him, because everybody knows how good he is.

"He is a very calm person and now the next game is coming up and he can play his normal level again, then everything will be fine."

Klopp said Fabinho had a "little muscle issue" that rules him out of contention for the King Power Stadium clash with a Leicester side who sit three points above Liverpool in the table.

Ozan Kabak, on loan from Schalke, could be an option to replace Fabinho at centre-back, but Klopp would not be drawn on who would figure in his defence.

He said Liverpool must "fight through a situation like this because nobody will help you", and pointed to the threats posed by Leicester's Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes.

The German boss described fast-improving winger Barnes as "one of the biggest talents ... an unbelievable player".

Klopp must also know Vardy will relish facing a defence that has looked as vulnerable as Liverpool's in recent times.

"Jamie's obviously a proper challenge in this league, the way he plays and the way he gets set up by his mates," Klopp said.

He said taming Vardy would require a collective effort.

"That's a proper job to do, but you only can do it always with the whole team," Klopp said.

"Jamie's a world-class player for sure in a specific area of the pitch and with his speed that's really tricky."


What have Liverpool got to worry about?

In many senses, Klopp should be relishing this trip. Liverpool have won on their last three Premier League visits to Leicester, who this season have already lost five Premier League home games – one more than in the whole of the last campaign.

Leicester have plenty of incentive, however, not least wanting to avoid losing four consecutive home top-flight matches to a specific opponent since a run of five defeats between 1999 and 2003 against Manchester United.

Liverpool are in a worrying dip, and a trip to a top-four rival comes at a time when West Ham, Chelsea and even Everton are rivalling them for a spot in the Champions League places.

Klopp's men will be seeking to avoid a third successive league defeat this month after losing at home to Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester City. They last lost three games in a row in the Premier League in November 2014, when current Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers was in charge of the Reds.

Liverpool have received a triple fitness boost for their clash with Manchester City as Sadio Mane, Alisson Becker and Fabinho return from injury to start.

Fabinho is back following a three-game absence necessitated by a muscle issue, while Mane returns after a similar problem forced him to miss the Reds' last two fixtures.

Alisson, meanwhile, is back in goal after illness kept him out of the midweek defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield.

That trio's availability accounts for three of the hosts' four changes, with 20-year-old midfielder Curtis Jones replacing the experienced James Milner the other.

Manchester City, meanwhile, make two changes to the starting XI that beat Burnley in midweek, with Pep Guardiola opting against naming a recognised striker as Gabriel Jesus drops out for Phil Foden.

At the back, Aymeric Laporte makes way, with Oleksandr Zinchenko his replacement.

 

Liverpool suffered another injury blow as Fabinho was ruled out of Thursday's Premier League clash at Tottenham but captain Jordan Henderson returned.

Fabinho has moved back from midfield into the heart of the champions' defence impressively with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez long-term absentees, but the Brazil international missed out against Spurs due to a minor muscle issue.

Henderson sat out the shock home defeat to Burnley and the FA Cup fourth-round loss at Manchester United last week, but the skipper returned to fill in at centre-back again alongside Joel Matip.

James Milner lined up for his 550th Premier League appearance at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Sadio Mane returning to the starting line-up as the Reds looked to end a five-match winless run in the top flight.

Tottenham were without Sergio Reguilon due to a muscle injury, so Matt Doherty came into the side in the only change from their last Premier League game at Sheffield United.

Fabinho insisted Mohamed Salah was "very happy" at Liverpool amid speculation over the star forward's future.

Salah sparked talk about his future after refusing to rule out a move to LaLiga champions Real Madrid or Barcelona in an interview with Diario AS last month.

Fabinho said the speculation about Salah was normal, the Brazil international adding the forward was happy at Anfield.

"Big players will always have their names involved in rumours. Salah plays for Liverpool, one of the biggest teams in the world. I think it's normal to see his name linked to other teams, especially from different leagues," he told ESPN Brasil on Tuesday.

"Anyway, I see him very happy here and pleased with his performances this season. He's very demanding with himself, he wants to be the best, he wants to help the team and works hard for it.

"It's always been the case and it hasn't changed at all. He keeps scoring goals, which everyone is used to seeing. In the changing room he's always talking to everyone and making jokes.

"I don't see anything affecting him. Overall, I am not following the news so I'm not sure about any rumours. As I said, top quality players will always be linked to big clubs."

Premier League holders Liverpool have struggled for consistency so far this season and Manchester United's win over Burnley on Tuesday sent the Red Devils three points clear of their rivals.

But Fabinho said Jurgen Klopp's side, who host United on Sunday, were concentrating on themselves.

"They are definitely confident and enjoying a good momentum in the league. They are winning some games that perhaps they weren't last season, such as against Wolves," he said.

"However, our focus isn't exclusively on Manchester United. The main thing is trying to play our football and winning games."

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