Liverpool handed double injury boost ahead of Atalanta test

Joe Williams
Joel Matip Liverpool

Liverpool could have Joel Matip and Naby Keita available for selection against Atalanta in Bergamo on Tuesday.

The Reds are top of Champions League Group D with six points from their opening two matches and a third successive victory would go a long way to propelling them towards the knockout stages.

They could be boosted by the return of central defender Matip, who trained ahead of the game having missed the last four matches through injury.

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The 29-year-old’s return to fitness would mean Jurgen Klopp does not have to hand 19-year-old Rhys Williams his full Champions League debut with Virgil Van Dijk and back-up Fabinho still missing.

Klopp told reporters on Monday: “We have at the moment more centre-halves available than we probably will line up together, which is good.”

Naby Keita has also returned to the Liverpool squad having been out for five games, although fellow midfielder Thiago Alcantara remains doubtful.

A couple of players who are pushing for contention are Diogo Jota and Xherdan Shaqiri, who have both provided important interventions in the last couple of weeks.

Summer signing Jota is challenging for Roberto Firmino’s starting berth after three goals in as many games, two of which were winners and the other the important breakthrough against a determined Midtjylland side last week at Anfield.


Somewhat unexpectedly Shaqiri, who managed just 265 minutes of football last season because of injuries and appeared to be destined for a summer exit, has had a re-emergence at Liverpool.

Deployed in a midfield role rather than on the wing the Switzerland international has played a key role in Jota’s last two goals.

“Shaq can play the wing, he has everything for that, but he is a versatile, offensive player and he played for us as an eight, wing and no 10,” said Klopp.

“Yes he was not involved (last season)… it is not like we wanted to keep him out of the team but sometimes players have a bad run with injuries.

“But the calf makes no problems now and everything is fine, which is good for him and even better for us because we missed him last year in a lot of moments.

“He is a really good player and made a massive impact in pretty much all of the games he has played and was part of the biggest games (he played in the famous semi-final comeback against Barcelona) in our common history so we are just happy to have him back.”