Klopp discusses Thiago absence as Liverpool duo set to return vs Atalanta

Liverpool are set to be without Thiago Alcantara once again for Tuesday night’s Champions League clash with Atalanta.

But Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that both Joel Matip and Navy Keita have returned to full training and he will make a late decision on their involvement in Italy.

The Reds, with maximum points from their opening two European games, face the Serie A side in Bergamo, with Klopp facing more defensive decisions.

Nat Phillips, who impressed in the 2-1 win over West Ham on Saturday, is not eligible for Europe, meaning Klopp will once more need to alter his defensive line.

Matip would be the most likely partner for Joe Gomez, but if he’s not at 100 percent, then youngster Rhys Williams may be required to deputise.

Alternatively, Klopp could decide to drop captain Jordan Henderson into his backline.

However, with Thiago absent there is no natural alternative at the base of midfield for the skipper and the clash with Gian Piero Gasperini’s men has come too soon for the Spain international, after he didn’t feature in training on Sunday.

“Naby and Joel trained yesterday with the team, in full, but Thiago didn’t,” said Klopp. “So, that’s the situation.

“I have really no idea what I do with this information in the moment because yes, they trained, that’s good, it’s better than if they don’t train.

“But we have to see what we do with it.

“We have another day to make these decisions.

Get the latest Liverpool news straight into your inbox!

Liverpool are keen to repeat last season's success – and you don't want to miss a thing, surely?

From all of Liverpool's updates to the must-read Reds stories, get them straight to your inbox without fuss by signing up for the fantastic Mirror Football newsletter!

It's been an extremely interesting start to the season for Jurgen Klopp's men.

They got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds, before going on to conceded seven in a hammering by Aston Villa.

Virgil van Dijk's season was ended by injury in the 2-2 draw at Everton, leaving the title favourites looking far less secure at the back – especially with Alisson's injury worries too.

But there's no slowing down in what is going to be a busy campaign – with Klopp ensuring his men continue at full pace as they bid for more title glory.

The easiest way to keep up with everything going on at Anfield? It's by signing up.

Put your email at the top of this article or follow the instructions on this link.

“A lot of players will be on the plane hopefully, and so decisions will be made late, late, late.”

Pressed further on the injury situation, Klopp continued: “We have to wait until medical department gives us green or orange or red light.

“We have more centre-halves available than we probably will line up together, so that's good."

The Reds, of course, remain without Fabinho until the international break and long-term absentee Virgil van Dijk.

The Italian side have taken four points from their two games so far, having won 4-0 in Denmark against Midtjylland, before coming from two goals down to draw with Ajax last time out.

Klopp insisted: “This is the biggest challenge we have in the Champions League so far.

“Atalanta are very difficult to play against, slightly similar to Leeds in their approach. It will be a tough one.”

Sign up to the Mirror Football email here for the latest news and transfer gossip

Source: Read Full Article