Chelsea welcome Liverpool to Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon in a clash that could prove pivotal in this season’s Premier League title race.
The Blues leapfrogged the Reds on Wednesday evening after picking up a point against Brighton following Liverpool’s defeat to Leicester City on Tuesday night.
Jurgen Klopp saw his team stumble at the King Power Stadium after missing a penalty in the first half. Liverpool are now nine points below Manchester City and one behind Chelsea, but have played a game less than both of their title rivals.
The defeat to Leicester City makes Sunday’s clash with Chelsea all that more important – in a showdown that both teams have to win, arguably.
However, going into the clash, Klopp has some injury and Covid concerns, as well as one key man missing through suspension.
Thiago Alcantara and Takumi Minamino
Thiago tested positive for Covid on December 19 and has not played since. There was some hope that the Spaniard would return to the squad for Tuesday’s defeat, but he was left out due to “minor muscle soreness”.
The same explanation was given for Takumi Minamino, who also did not travel to Leicester
However, with the club confirming the soreness was “minor”, it suggests that the duo could be in contention to face Chelsea at the weekend.
Elliott has been missing since suffering a serious ankle injury in September’s victory against Leeds United.
At the time, there were fears that the teenager’s season may be over, but he is now expected to return to full training with his Liverpool team-mates at some point next month.
Origi has been missing since mid-December, with Klopp confirming the Belgian striker suffered “a little issue” against AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League.
There is currently no indication on when the 26-year-old forward will return for the Reds, but they still have the likes of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota to choose from.
Robertson will serve the second of his three-match ban on Sunday following his red card against Tottenham earlier in the month.
The Scotland international missed Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat to Leicester in the week and will not be available for the crucial trip to Chelsea at the weekend.
Kostas Tsimikas is set to start on the left-hand side of the Reds’ defence, as he did against the Foxes.