The Brazilian has been out of the side since the defeat against Man City, missing the last three games with a muscle injury.
He had been considered a half-chance of featuring in the Merseyside derby but having not returned to training that was soon scuppered, as it will once more for the trip to Sheffield United.
Fabinho has not yet featured in team training since his point of injury and with just two days until the trip to South Yorkshire, it will likely be too soon for the No. 3 as Klopp revealed he is only now returning to training.
“Fab not yet with the team, that can happen I think tomorrow – if I’m 100 percent right. He will have his first session with the team,” he told reporters.
“And same for James Milner, that’s it.”
The good news is that Diogo Jota is to be included in the matchday squad after looking “very good” on his training return.
The injury crisis at Liverpool is best summarised by having all three senior centre-backs you started with the season out for the season and the two midfield back-ups both in the treatment room.
Jones Knows is back with his Premier League predictions and betting angles across all 10 games. He thinks Raphinha is a great bet to fire first at 8/1 for Leeds.Manchester City vs West Ham, Saturday 12.30pm
The records are tumbling for Manchester City - is this where their 19-game winning run ends? I can't see it.
Regular readers won't be surprised to read that. West Ham will have to be foot-perfect in both boxes to maintain their impressive form. Yet their biggest hope may come from me opposing them. I haven't got them right for six weeks now. West Ham rejoice.
City's defence are on the verge of doing something no team has achieved in Premier League history. Another clean sheet here would make them the first team to concede as little as four goals in 18 straight Premier League games. Arsenal (1998/99) and Manchester United (2008/09) managed to concede just four goals in 17 games, but no one has put such a deadly defensive run together. A huge reason for their upturn at the back is simply Ruben Dias, who is part of a defence that is statistically the best in all of Europe's top leagues. City have conceded just 15 goals this season.
So, why is Dias as big as 12/1 with Sky Bet to land the PFA Player of the Year award when it looks a straight shootout between him and Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes?
The market is far too skewed in the direction of the United playmaker, who is a Even money shot with Sky Bet, and when we have a false favourite at the top of a betting market, there's only one thing to do, Jones Knows must strap on those punting boots.
Dias can grab another clean sheet here in what should be another routine victory.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 2-0
BETTING ANGLE: Ruben Dias to win PFA Player of the Year (12/1 with Sky Bet)West Brom vs Brighton, Saturday 3pm, live on Sky Sports (Play Super 6 to win £250,000!) Saturday 27th February 2:45pm Kick off 3:00pm
The Baggies are a bet here at 3/1 with Sky Bet. That's a big price.
Brighton just can't be trusted at odds-on against teams that play a low block. Graham Potter's men have won just one from seven games against teams that like to defend deep and counter.
Sam Allardyce has left his Houdini act too late in the day to conjure up a miraculous escape but his side are now a competitive outfit, capable of winning games in the Premier League. They were magnificent at Burnley, somehow spurning big chances with 10-men to slip to another draw. In another world, they would be coming into this game with back-to-back wins having made life difficult against Manchester United too.
The impact of Mbaye Diagne has much to do with West Brom's upturn in performances. He only has one goal to his name but has recorded an expected goals figure of 2.76 in his last four games - that's the most created by any player since he signed bar Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling. Four of his shots in that period have come via a header, including his goal in the draw with United. All three goals Brighton have conceded of late have come via opposition centre-forwards getting in where it hurts and Diagne looks a fair bet to score with a header at 14/1 with Sky Bet.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 2-1
BETTING ANGLE: Mbaye Diagne to score a header (14/1 with Sky Bet)
SUPER SIX: It was a 1-1 stalemate when West Brom met Brighton earlier this season and the same outcome is the most popular selection by Super 6 players for the rematch - backed by 27% of entrants.Leeds vs Aston Villa, Saturday 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports Saturday 27th February 5:00pm Kick off 5:30pm
Now this should be a fun watch. If there's an early goal we could see chaos.
I was really keen on attacking the total match shots market as the previous fixture between these two produced 39 shots and Leeds' total of 712 shots for and against in their 25 games works out an average of 28.5 per game which is more than any other side. However, the line is set high at 31 shots at 11/10 with Sky Bet and with Jack Grealish an injury doubt for Villa, I'm happy to let that price slide.
It's hard to ignore the 8/1 on Raphinha scoring first though. As my colleague Adam Bate wrote in a fantastic read on the Brazilian, "Leeds United have found one in Raphinha."
He was sensational in the wins over Crystal Palace and Southampton, playing with a confidence that makes him look very much at home at Elland Road. In his last seven games, only Bruno Fernandes and James Maddison have had more shots than him (18) with three of those shots finding the net. He can score first in what is likely to be a typical Leeds 'we'll have a shot, you have a shot' type of game.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 3-1
BETTING ANGLE: Raphinha to score first (8/1 with Sky Bet)Newcastle vs Wolves, Saturday 8pm, live on Sky Sports
Newcastle are slipping and sliding nearer trouble but I'm still convinced this isn't the Newcastle of a few weeks ago that embarrassed themselves in a 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United. It's a braver, more forward-thinking approach.
Back-to-back defeats against Chelsea and Manchester United haven't changed my opinion. And, to an extent, the performance at United, especially in the first half, actually strengthened my belief that the Toon are an improved outfit since switching to this diamond-like formation halfway through their defeat to Leeds.
This is a very winnable game for them, so much so I was surprised to see 5/2 available on the home win with Sky Bet.
Wolves may have won four of their last five matches but they still remain a very stodgy team, especially in the first half of matches. They haven't scored before the 36th minute in a match for seven fixtures and with Newcastle playing a more aggressive, high-press game, I'm interested in the 3/1 for Newcastle to be winning at half-time. Steve Bruce's men have scored five goals in their last five first halves.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 2-1
BETTING ANGLE: Newcastle to be winning at half-time (3/1 with Sky Bet)Crystal Palace vs Fulham, Sunday 12pm
Quite how Crystal Palace are 10 points from safety is one of football's great mysteries. In their last four games, most of it without Wilfried Zaha, they have somehow picked up six points despite registering a total expected goals figure of 0.86. It's probably saved their season as they don't need to waft outside off stump in order to pick up points to stave off relegation now. Roy Hodgson's men can block, block, block.
I'm convinced Fulham are the more accomplished side of these two, especially with Zaha still ruled out, yet Scott Parker's men still can't be trusted to pick up consistent wins at this level. This could be a similar tale to Palace's win over Brighton where Hodgson's boys will look second best for large parts but still come away with a result. I'll play the draw.
One area Fulham can be trusted is their ability to get Ademola Lookman into shooting positions from outside the box. This month, only James Maddison and Bruno Fernandes are taking more shots from outside the penalty area than Lookman (7), who is quickly becoming a shoot-on-sight merchant.
Palace, likely to defend deep, have faced 128 shots from outside the box - only Sheffield United have faced more, so I'm keen to back Lookman to hit the target from range at 9/4 with Sky Bet.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 1-1
The destination of the points in this one will centre around which club can recover quickest from their Thursday night escapades. Arsenal will take to the field in far more buoyant mood after keeping their Europa League hopes alive vs Benfica but it's Leicester that surely will be the fresher side.
Brendan Rodgers' tactical flexibility and ability to rotate his squad in shrewd fashion is a key part of his management. I always got the feeling a Premier League game takes prominence in his eyes over Europe and Thursday's defeat to Slavia Prague backed that up. They will be ready to rock for this one.
A common theme of their season has been their impressive performance levels after a Europa League clash on a Thursday. The Foxes have won six of their seven Premier League matches straight after a Thursday game, including the 1-0 win at The Emirates back in October. At 6/4 they look backable.
The match-up down Leicester's left has got my punting juices flowing, too.
Hector Bellerin will be tasked with dealing with a fresh Harvey Barnes, who was rested in midweek. The Arsenal defender is the most booked player in the Premier League this season (8) with one of those for a foul on Barnes in the corresponding fixture. In total, the flying Leicester man has got 12 players booked this season which ranks him only behind Jack Grealish in that regard. The 7/2 with Sky Bet for Bellerin to be carded looks very fair.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 2-0
BETTING ANGLE: Hector Bellerin to pick up a card (7/2 with Sky Bet)Tottenham vs Burnley, Sunday 2pm, live on Sky Sports Sunday 28th February 1:00pm Kick off 2:00pm
There was a moment towards the end of Tottenham's 3-0 defeat to Manchester City that might just have changed the trajectory of their season. It was the rebirth and potentially the return of Gareth Bale. With 82 minutes on the clock, Bale, on for another seemingly underwhelming cameo, showed a change of direction and skill to beat two City defenders before his effort was parried away by Ederson. It was bright. It was sharp. It was full of quality. It was Gareth Bale.
Since that moment, Bale has played 130 minutes for Spurs and he's bagged two goals, two assists and most importantly looked ready to make a significant difference for Jose Mourinho. His performance in the second half at West Ham, where he played in front line of Harry Kane and Heung Min-Son was everything Spurs fans want to see from him. Mourinho's men were fantastic in the second half at the London Stadium with Bale crashing the crossbar with a fine strike.
Burnley, who were absolutely rancid against West Brom, could be in serious trouble here as Bale looks set to start for the first time in a home game this year. I want to invest in his chances of delivering a monstrous performance. My main play will be his anytime scorer price of 2/1 with Sky Bet but I'll also be plunging some pennies on Bale to score from outside the area at 12/1, Bale to score twice at 14/1 and Bale to grab a hat-trick at 100/1.
The boy is back and I'm expecting Spurs to surge up the table in the next few weeks, starting here with a comfortable win.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 3-0
BETTING ANGLE: Gareth Bale to score anytime (2/1 with Sky Bet)Chelsea vs Man Utd, Sunday 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports Sunday 28th February 4:00pm Kick off 4:30pm
It's far too early to be making any sweeping statements about Thomas Tuchel's impact at Chelsea - but one thing we can say with confidence is their upsurge at keeping the ball out of their net. As my colleague Nick Wright wrote in a feature analysing Tuchel's first few games, since Tuchel's appointment, Chelsea have faced the fewest shots in the division and recorded the lowest expected goals against total too. Tuchel has made defensive stability a priority since his arrival, switching to a back three and making Chelsea more robust by deploying two defensive midfielders rather than one.
Now comes the biggest test. Can he keep the free-flowing Manchester United attack, led by Bruno Fernandes quiet? Well, I'd argue it might not be such a challenging task as it first seems.
One Fernandes penalty vs Tottenham is United's only goal in 'big six' Premier League meetings this season. United have not kept the pace with rivals City in the title race due to their record in matches against teams competing for the top six. Solskjaer's side are winless in their seven fixtures this season against traditional 'big six' teams and Leicester, with Fernandes seemingly going missing when the big occasion arrives. As you can see from the table below, he has managed one goal, one penalty and one assist in 630 minutes of action against such opponents.
His individual performances in those games is summed up by the player ratings awarded by Sky Sports' team of journalists on the match in question. In those seven games, he has averaged a combined player rating of just 5.3, showcasing just how little he has impacted those type of matches.
Chelsea are set up to be counter-attacked, an area where United flourish, but it's hard to make a case for an away win when all angles are assessed. Like most meetings between the big boys this season, it's bound to be a tactical and very cagey affair with Chelsea dominating possession. One goal will probably do it for Tuchel.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 1-0
BETTING ANGLE: Chelsea to win by one goal (3/1 with Sky Bet)Sheffield United vs Liverpool, Sunday 7.15pm, live on Sky Sports Sunday 28th February 7:00pm Kick off 7:15pm
I've not lost faith in Liverpool yet. A string of injuries at centre-back - combined with individual drop-offs in form - has left Liverpool low on confidence. That can be fixed by Jurgen Klopp.
With Phil Jagielka set to start for the Blades, they will be defending deep in order to protect their goal. Liverpool will only need one goal against the league's worst attack.
This brings forward the prospect of Liverpool managing to get shots away from distance and prices around Trent Alexander-Arnold hitting the target have got my attention. The England man has yet to hit the heights of last season in a low-key year for him but confidence is slowly returning after a spell of classy performances down the right. He's had five shots in his last two games and likes nothing more than firing from range against a low-block, hitting the target from outside the box vs Tottenham, Burnley, Sheffield United and Everton twice this season. The 11/4 for another is too big.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 0-2
All eyes will be on Everton here. Traditionally, you'd think the Toffees would be vulnerable in trying to back up a famous win like they had at Anfield. Lose this one and that historic victory is toned down a touch.
It's relevant that eight of Everton's 12 Premier League wins this season have been away from Goodison - only 35 per cent of points have come at home (14/40). I wouldn't be touching them around Evens against a dangerous Saints team.
Yes, they have won just one of their last 13 Premier League games since mid-December but Ralph Hasenhutt's boys do raise their levels when necessary, as seen when beating Liverpool and drawing with Chelsea.
I'm expecting plenty of bite in midfield in this one with the rapidly improving Tom Davies matching up against a Saints side that play very aggressively through the middle with James Ward-Prowse at the forefront of their play.
Davies was sensational in the win at Anfield with a destructive and tactically astute performance in front of his expertly organised defence. No player made more tackles than Davies (5) and no Everton player gained possession for their side on more occasions (8). Carlo Ancelotti is getting the best out of the midfielder in the absence of Allan and the 11/4 with Sky Bet for him to make four or more tackles looks good to me.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 1-1
BETTING ANGLE: Tom Davies to make four or more tackles (11/4 with Sky Bet)
Go behind the scenes of Diogo Jota's return with the latest edition of Inside Training.
Liverpool forward Jota took part in Wednesday's team session at the AXA Training Centre as he moves closer to fitness following a knee injury.
Virgil van Dijk, meanwhile, continued his rehabilitation programme by completing an individual outdoor session.
Take a closer look in the video below.
App users should tap here to watch.
Alisson has expressed his appreciation for the widespread support he and his family have received after his father, Jose Becker, tragically passed away on Wednesday.
Jose Becker drowned after going for a swim in a dam at his property in Brazil and was later found on Wednesday night after being reported missing.
The tragic news was met by an overwhelming show of support from Liverpool fans and the wider football family, and Alisson showed his appreciation on his social media channels on Thursday.
The 28-year-old, who followed in his father’s goalkeeping footsteps along with brother Muriel, penned his gratitude for all those who sent their best wishes and tributes.
“I would like to thank everyone for the messages and tributes to my beloved father,” he said.
“Our family feels loved by everyone. May God bless each one’s life.”
The outpouring of support and condolences from fans, teammates and those in the football world was touching and heartfelt in equal measure:
Truly awful news that Alisson Becker’s father, Jose has lost his life by drowning. Thoughts are with him and his family. RIP
— Gary Lineker ? (@GaryLineker) February 25, 2021
O Fluminense Football Club lamenta profundamente o falecimento de José Agostinho Becker, pai dos goleiros Muriel e Alisson. Desejamos toda a força aos amigos e familiares.
— Fluminense F.C. (@FluminenseFC) February 25, 2021
— Robbie Fowler (@Robbie9Fowler) February 25, 2021
We are all with you pic.twitter.com/mLG2noMpXO
— David de Gea (@D_DeGea) February 25, 2021
Our thoughts are with Alisson and the Becker family, You’ll Never Walk Alone.
Liverpool Football Club's official charity, LFC Foundation, has promoted its current director Matt Parish to the new role of chief executive officer.
Parish, who joined LFC Foundation in March 2019, will also take up a trustee role alongside his new position in recognition of the growth and development of the Foundation.
The new role as CEO will see Parish continue to accelerate the Foundation’s rapid expansion since he joined. The charity has seen an 80 per cent increase in the number of people engaged, from 15,000 to more than 28,000.
Its staff have also more than doubled from 25 to 60 in just over two years and, despite the impact of the pandemic, more than £315,000 has been raised recently by fans and partners to support local foodbanks, providing essential support to those in need.
The board of trustees is being further strengthened with the appointment of Davinder Jhamat, who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience within the corporate and charity sectors.
Currently working for a global engineering foundation, Lloyd’s Register Foundation, Jhamat is a trained economist and researcher. Having worked at local, national and international levels and across a breadth of sectors, she has led and engaged experts and government to deliver works of impact, and positive change. In addition, she also holds non-executive board roles within children’s education, public health and the sports sectors.
Gavin Laws, independent chair of LFC Foundation’s board of trustees, said: “We are extremely fortunate to have a wide range of experience and knowledge on our board of trustees and these two new appointments will bolster it further.
“As Foundation director, Matt has established a solid operational structure in just under two years and with this now in place, Matt’s new role as CEO will allow him to operate at a more strategic level across the Liverpool City Region and beyond to continue to drive the expansion of the charity.
“We are also delighted to welcome Davinder as a member of the board, who will add so much value to the Foundation and its staff, and in doing so help us to achieve our mission of creating life-changing opportunities for young people and families in more communities, and ultimately support more people. Her wide range of skills and experience, I believe, will make a positive impact.”
The Liverpool FC Foundation board comprises a range of internal and external independent trustees who contribute their time, expertise and resources to contribute to help others in need. You can find out more about the board of trustees here.
Jamie Redknapp says Liverpool's injuries and their drop-off in confidence and performance levels makes a top-four finish tough - but expects them to roar back next season.
The defending champions' Merseyside derby defeat at home to Everton on Saturday made it six defeats in their last nine games and with captain Jordan Henderson the latest centre-back option to be struck by injury, Liverpool's hopes of a Champions League qualifying spot are in doubt.
Speaking on the latest Pitch to Post Preview Podcast, Redknapp believes Liverpool's "fear factor is gone" and there will be no quick turnaround in their fortunes, with the Sky Sports pundit predicting more setbacks for Jurgen Klopp's side between now and the end of the season.
However, he says Liverpool supporters can be optimistic of a return to form in 2021/22 when fans are back at Anfield, and Virgil van Dijk is fit again, and belief is back in the team.
Listen to the Pitch to Post Preview Podcast for more from Redknapp on Liverpool's situation, Ozan Kabak's tough start, and their Super Sunday clash with Sheffield United; plus the show features further analysis ahead of Chelsea vs Man Utd and Tottenham vs Burnley.Redknapp on… Liverpool's top-four chances
"Teams have found a way. I remember when West Brom came to Anfield, they sat back and let Liverpool get crosses into the box and because they haven't got that focal point of a big striker you end up crossing the ball for the sake of it, not working little balls into the front man, getting runners from midfield… And they have struggled, especially when they go a goal behind, to find the answer.
"It will come, of course it will come, but right now everything Liverpool do feels difficult. When you're in a team struggling for form, even the basics, simple passes, crosses, normally they'd find a man but they're not quite happening for them now. They have to get their confidence back.
They might not finish top four. It wouldn't be a surprise - it's actually more of a surprise if they did finish top four in the form they're in. Jamie Redknapp
"They might not finish top four. It wouldn't be a surprise - it's actually more of a surprise if they did finish top four in the form they're in.
"But they'll have to look at this as an exercise. It's not gone well for them but how can they do in the Champions League? Can they win the Champions League and upset the odds and do something incredibly special on that front?"Sunday 28th February 7:00pm Kick off 7:15pm Redknapp on... individuals below their best
"One thing you can't deny is the levels have dropped. If you were to go through the team, the 'keeper has not been as good, Trent Alexander-Arnold, last year and the year before, his levels have been so high - the best right-back in the world we were talking about - he's not been the same player this year.
"That can be through a number of reasons - is he thinking, 'I've cracked it?' All I have to do is turn up and play' and maybe not do the basics of what made him one of the best right-backs, which was great defending, great going forward, working hard to stop the opposition first and foremost…
"I have seen a drop off and if he's honest he'll look in the mirror and say I've not been as good this year.
"When you get a bit of criticism, what you've got to do is look at yourself and think can I do better? And there's a number of players who can do better, make no mistake. Individuals have to do better. They'll know that. They have to work harder."Redknapp on… how centre-back injuries have damaged confidence across the pitch
"I don't know what they're going to end up with as their centre-back pairing at the moment. Henderson could be out for a couple of months and it's terrible news. They're not a team who can keep going through these partnerships.
"You're trying to work in a system but confidence is low. You can talk about the team playing higher up the pitch, all these little factors, but if you're conceding goals all the time, and that fear factor is gone, it doesn't really matter what you do because Liverpool are just struggling for confidence.Image: Ozan Kabak has endured a tough start to life at Liverpool
"Everton went there and as soon as they scored that first goal you could see the players' shoulders start to go, they started to lose belief in what they were doing and it is inevitable you end up losing games.
"And that back two, right now, whoever they end up with because of the personnel they have at their disposal, is a team which would struggle. That's not a good back four in any team in the Premier League, let alone Liverpool who are the title-holders.
"There's nothing to be scared of about Liverpool right now. This is a team you can get after, certainly defensively, make sure you don't give away silly mistakes or let Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino or Sadio Mane do something special, and you've got every chance of winning it because the midfield and defence is decimated."Redknapp on… The Anfield factor
"The Anfield factor is huge. We talk about home and away - they're just playing on a pitch right now.
"When you used to play at Anfield - and I played there for Liverpool and against them - when you walk onto that pitch and you hear 'You'll Never Walk Alone' you look at people and you can see they're scared, they don't want to go there.
"Of course, your Man Utds, your big players, that doesn't bother them but a lot of teams will have gone there and thought this is a nightmare. They wouldn't want to play out from the back with five minutes to go.
"But because there's no pressure of the crowd they're just doing it and it's easy to play against Liverpool right now because the players aren't at the level they were last year and there's no crowd making them anxious."Redknapp on… why there's no quick fix for Liverpool
"This isn't a short fix. Liverpool's results up until the end of the season are going to be up and down.
"They're going to have some good results because they've got Salah, Firmino and Mane to do incredible things but they're also going to have some really poor results, that is a fact. Because you can't change what's in front of you right now.
This isn't a short fix. Liverpool's results up until the end of the season are going to be up and down. Jamie Redknapp
"Jurgen Klopp can't get a special formula or recipe to go, 'I'm going to change this, I'm going to be so bright and so clever and change it to a back three', it isn't going to change a thing.
"Klopp has got the hardest job at the moment because he hasn't got a partnership, none of them have played together, you've lost your captain for three months… he's got a really tough job.
"It will come, of course it will come, but just right now everything Liverpool do feels difficult. When you're in a team struggling for form, even the basics, simple passes, crosses, normally they'd find a man but they're not quite happening for them now. They have to get their confidence back."Redknapp on… why Van Dijk's return is so important
"Losing Virgil van Dijk - people don't want to hear it. 'Losing Van Dijk' it can't be that easy [to explain Liverpool's problems].
"But pre-Van Dijk for Liverpool was where they are now. Not a lot different. Win games, great. Lose games. Van Dijk came in and all of a sudden they looked like a proper team.Image: Virgil van Dijk sustained his injury after this challenge from Jordan Pickford
"One player can make that much of a difference. Look at Ruben Dias at Man City. They're not playing any better than they were last season, Man City. They were having the same amount of possession but they'd lose a goal, with a minute to go, because they weren't quite as good and teams thought 'we can get at this back four' because they were playing a midfielder at centre-back.
"Dias-Laporte, Dias-Stones and all of a sudden it's like 'wow, they can win anything they want'. But it isn't that much different in terms of personnel going forward."Redknapp on… why Liverpool will bounce back next season
"Jurgen Klopp had an easy job last season to a certain extent because all he had to do was keep them going out onto the pitch. The confidence was high and the fans were in the stadium. Everything they did, people believed it.
"But right now he's up against it. It's his first challenge at Liverpool. He'll come through it but it won't be now.
"It will be, I think, next season, once things start to get back to normality. Next season will be a complete change. You're going to get back to normality, not just on the playing staff, as you start to get your key players back, but with the crowd in the stadium."Pitch to Post Preview - Jamie Redknapp's Liverpool verdict. Plus: Chelsea v Man Utd build-up, and Tottenham's tricky Burnley test
On this week's Pitch to Post Preview Podcast, Jamie Redknapp joins Peter Smith to assess where Liverpool stand right now. The Sky Sports pundit explains why he thinks it would be a surprise if they make the top four and the reasons why he expects them to get back to their top level next season.
We also hear from Sky Sports football writer Jack Wilkinson, who assesses Chelsea's start under Thomas Tuchel, Man Utd's talk of the title, and gives his verdict on why the next couple of months could be key for the future of Jose Mourinho and Tottenham. Plus he shares his Pitch for the weekend!
Watch Jürgen Klopp's pre-match press conference live with us from 1pm GMT today.
The boss will answer journalists' questions via video call ahead of Liverpool's trip to Sheffield United.
Return to this page shortly before the start time to tune in live.
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Jordan Henderson is to miss, at least, Liverpool’s next nine games after undergoing surgery on a groin injury which is to keep him out of action for six to eight weeks.
The captain was playing his seventh game in a row when he went to ground against Everton at the half-hour mark in Saturday’s defeat.
After the game, Jurgen Klopp noted the groin injury was one nobody “was positive about” as immediate suggestions were it would not be a quick turnaround.
And following scans, Henderson has now undergone successful surgery and is expected to be ruled out of the Reds’ next six to eight weeks of action, which will see him miss up to nine games – a timescale provided by the Times‘ Paul Joyce.
It means he will not be available for the upcoming all-important league meetings against the likes of Chelsea, Wolves, Arsenal and Aston Villa in addition to the second leg last-16 tie against Leipzig in the Champions League and potentially the quarter-finals.
The setback is one that will also see him ruled out of international duty with England in March, with his return not expected until mid-April.
Games Henderson is expected to miss:
It’s another massive blow to Klopp and Co. just when it looked as though the skipper could shift back into midfield with Fabinho on the cusp of a return.
Instead, the injury crisis continues and the 19th partnership at centre-back is on the horizon as the Brazilian is likely to be paired with Ozan Kabak on his return.
It continues the trend of one step forward and two steps back in 2020/21 with more strain to be put on existing personnel as a result.
Liverpool can confirm Jordan Henderson has undergone an operation on the injury he sustained during last weekend's Merseyside derby with Everton.
The captain was withdrawn after half an hour of the Anfield fixture having picked up a groin issue that left him unable to continue.
Following further assessment with the club’s medical team, Henderson has successfully had a corrective procedure carried out on the adductor injury. He will begin a rehabilitation programme immediately.
No specific timescale is being placed upon his return; however, the 30-year-old is ruled out initially until after the March international break.
Henderson’s recovery will be closely monitored by the club’s medical department and his progression during his rehab work will determine when he is able to resume full training.
Venue – Bramall Lane, Sheffield
Referee – Jonathan Moss
Date & Time – Sunday, February 28th @ 19:15
Current Odds – Sheffield United 13/2, Draw 4/1, Liverpool 4/11
The battle for a top-four finish starts here. Win at Bramall Lane and welcome Chelsea to Anfield with some confidence the following Thursday and all may not be so gloomy in the world of football if we can do that. Fail to take all three points against Sheffield United and our top-four hopes will surely be slipping from our grasp. Every game is a big game now. That’s the way we like it, isn’t it?FORM
Sheffield United Form
Sheffield United are rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, having earned just 11 points from 25 games this season. The Blades are most certainly looking at a return to Championship football in 2021/22. They have scored one goal in their last three games and lost all of those matches.
Chris Wilder’s men have made it to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup where they will play Chelsea. But their top-flight status will be rescinded come May.
Last Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Everton was Liverpool’s fourth consecutive league defeat. The Reds are now sixth in the table, five points behind West Ham and the top four. Liverpool have scored just two goals and conceded 10 in that four-game losing streak.
They did manage an impressive Champions League win against RB Leipzig in the midst of this poor run so they can still pull the odd result out of the bag. Liverpool need to show a certain level of consistency between now and the end of the season if they are to have any hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League, however.TEAM NEWS
Sheffield United Team News
Sheffield United have several injury problems at the moment. They are without Jack O’Connell, Sander Berge, Jack Robinson, and John Egan. They could also be missing Chris Basham and Lys Mousset.
John Fleck returned from illness for their 1-0 defeat at Fulham last weekend while former Everton centre-back Phil Jagielka is likely to keep his place in the side due to injuries to other defenders.
Chris Wilder has stuck with the 3-5-2/5-3-2 formation despite The Blades’ struggles this season. He is unlikely to change his side’s shape going into Sunday’s game.
Liverpool Team News
Liverpool’s current injury list: Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joël Matip, Jordan Henderson, and James Milner.
Fabinho may return to full training this week but it’s unclear if he will make Sunday’s match.
Naby Keïta returned to the Liverpool squad last weekend so he is available again. Diogo Jota returned to full training this week but, having been out since December, the Portuguese forward will need a couple of weeks training before he is anywhere near fit enough for a return to action.
With the added headache of Jordan Henderson’s groin injury, sustained against Everton, and Fabinho still not back to full fitness, Jürgen Klopp must now decide between Ben Davies, Ozan Kabak, and Nat Phillips for his central defensive pairing. My bet is he will go with Phillips and Kabak for now.
The midfield trio is likely to be Gini Wijnaldum, Thiago Alcântara, and Curtis Jones.
Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mané will probably start again in the front line.PREDICTED LINEUPS
Sheffield United XI (3-5-2) – Ramsdale; Ampadu, Jagielka, Bryan; Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens; McGoldrick, Sharp
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Kabak, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Thiago, Jones; Salah, Firmino, ManéWHEN THEY LAST MET
Sheffield United have not beaten Liverpool at Bramall Lane since 1992. It was the early days of the newly-founded English Premier League and The Blades claimed victory thanks to an early goal from Adrian Littlejohn.
Liverpool have won the last four meetings between the sides.
Last season, The Reds won 1-0 at Bramall Lane after on-loan goalkeeper Dean Henderson fumbled a speculative Gini Wijnaldum shot into the net.
Liverpool won 2-1 at Anfield when the sides met earlier this season despite going behind to an early Sander Berge penalty for the visitors. Bobby Firmino equalised just before half time and Diogo Jota scored the winner for Liverpool in the second half.PREDICTION
SHEFFIELD UNITED 0 – 2 LIVERPOOL
Bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United are one of the few teams to have a form record just as bad as Liverpool’s at the moment. If Jürgen Klopp’s Reds can’t muster enough to take all three points from this game then it would be very hard to see them maintain a serious challenge for a top-four finish and Champions League qualification this season.
They should win, though. The Reds know that time is running out to save anything from this shit-show of a campaign. Now is the time to kick back into gear and regain some consistency or we could be looking at a very tough time between now and May.
With Roberto Firmino experiencing a continued downturn in form and influence at Liverpool, it is time to provide the No. 9 with more competition for his starting spot.
If this relentless, congested campaign has shown us anything, it’s that constant football is, in fact, not very good at all.
Sure, over the festive period, it would normally be considered a treat to be able to stretch out and watch the Premier League almost every day for a fortnight.
But in this sterile, commercial season, dogged by the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and the farce of VAR, it has become a largely joyless affair, to be weathered rather than relished.
That would be the case were Liverpool still riding high, and were not hampered by a ridiculous injury list that could see Jordan Henderson join the out-for-the-season brigade.
It is a situation that could shorten careers, and at youth level may even halt them before they begin such is the stop-start nature of their fixture list, with there a very real possibility that 2020/21 will be looked back on as a watershed campaign.
Within this, and moving forward, Jurgen Klopp is tasked with overseeing the evolution of his squad, who are not only spread thin but, on the majority, also edging past their peak years.
This could well be the case with Roberto Firmino, who is in the throes of an 18-month malaise that has seen patience on the virtual Kop close to wearing out.
For so long the “engine” of Klopp’s Liverpool side, Firmino has been the model for a new brand of No. 9; not an out-and-out goalscorer, not a target man, not a player shoehorned into a ‘false’ role – a groundbreaking centre-forward.
Firmino’s exact role is so difficult to pin down, operating predominantly in the space not necessarily deemed tangible in the straightforward tactical assessment of the game. Or in other words, between the lines.
Only once in his five full seasons at Anfield so far has Firmino scored more than 20 goals in all competitions, that being in 2017/18, when 15 came in the league, one in the FA Cup and, incredibly, 11 on the road to the Champions League final.
That has, at least publicly, been accepted by Klopp as an occupational hazard, explaining as such back in December, albeit with the caveat that “Roberto wants to score goals.”
“It’s really important that each player knows the job he has to do in a game. They are different,” he told reporters.
“In the end, it’s important the team scores and that happens thankfully most of the time often enough. Not always, but most of the time.”
But there are too convergent issues with Firmino within this current setup, and in particular this over-demanding season.
Firstly, for a long period he has not sustained a consistent level of influence that negates his blunt edges in front of goal; and secondly, when Mane and Salah are not firing, Liverpool’s third attacker has been woeful in his own finishing.
To use Klopp’s engine analogy: if it is not working to a functional capacity, does it not require maintenance, or at worst replacing entirely?
That is the conundrum that may face the manager as he looks ahead to the summer transfer window, working alongside Michael Edwards and the club’s recruitment staff.
Not only are Firmino’s rates of goals and assists following a downward trajectory, so too are his underlying statistics, according to FBref, such as his shot creating actions and successful pressures per 90:
* FBref defines a ‘shot creating action’ as “offensive actions directly leading to a shot, such as passes, dribbles and drawing fouls.”
* FBref defines a ‘successful pressure’ as “the number of times the squad gained possession within five seconds of applying pressure.”
Firmino is by no means ‘done’, despite the increasing number of supporters erring towards that conclusion, but it can certainly be argued that this non-stop schedule is affecting the No. 9 more than most.
One of Firmino’s best qualities is his availability, with only two players throughout Klopp’s entire managerial career making more appearances than his 272.
James Milner is the next-closest Liverpool player, with 229, while last season no one played more times than the 29-year-old, who is on course to repeat this feat as top appearance-maker this time out, too.
Klopp is clearly aware of the physical demand on his first-choice striker, subbing him off comfortably more times (130) than any other player during his time at Mainz, Dortmund and Liverpool.
But as his performances noticeably suffer at this stage in his career, it seems now is the time to give Firmino more competition and cover in leading the line.
This has already been acknowledged, of course, with the signings of Takumi Minamino and, more so, Diogo Jota, but the decision to allow Minamino to join Southampton on loan, coupled with the diminishing returns of Divock Origi up top, shows that more is needed.
It was fitting that on the night that saw Firmino fire three of his four shots off target in the Merseyside derby, Erling Braut Haaland was at his clinical best yet again with a brace in Dortmund’s 4-0 thrashing of Schalke.
Real talk, do we actually have any proof that Haaland wasn't made in a factory?
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 21, 2021
Haaland is a different breed of striker; a preeminent, generational talent who has made the jump from the Austrian Bundesliga to its more distinguished German counterpart with ease.
After scoring 29 and assisting seven in just 27 games for Red Bull Salzburg, the Leeds-born Norwegian is currently on 43 goals and 10 assists in 43 appearances for Dortmund.
Ten of those goals have come in seven outings in the Champions League, and with his 21st birthday not until July, it is clear Haaland is on course to become one of world football’s leading strikers – if he isn’t already.
Firmino’s rise at Liverpool is a prime example of the club’s ethos of avoiding deals for the best of the best in favour of nurturing rough diamonds, but as their Premier League crown teeters miserably, perhaps Haaland is an opportunity too attractive to overlook.
A €75 million release clause was negotiated into the youngster’s contract upon his move from Salzburg to Dortmund, but this can only be activated from the summer of 2022.
But perhaps its existence could see Dortmund do business for slightly above this as early as this summer – if that is the case, Liverpool should look to front the queue for his services.
Haaland will not be short of suitors when the time comes to leave the Westfalenstadion, of course, and that may leave Klopp, Edwards and Co. to consider other options, but if so, it could still be advantageous to look for a player of a different profile to Firmino himself.
Firmino is still tied to Liverpool until 2023, with two years left on his contract as of this summer, which ensures he can remain part of Klopp’s squad moving forward.
But the vagaries of this particular campaign, and their likely lasting impact on the No. 9’s output, has illuminated the need for another genuine, reliable, top-class centre-forward at Anfield as soon as possible.
Liverpool are only linked with one new face today, a relative rarity, but a couple are supposedly heading the other way out the door! And the countdown to Sheffield United is on.Klopp hasn’t given up on signing Bremer
Apparently, he impressed so much in a friendly that the boss sought out our chances of signing him and, despite it not happening at the time, his admiration has not departed since then.
Now our summer plan for a defensive restructure revolves around going back in for the Brazilian and we’ll offer him a salary four times bigger than his current one – if we get back in the Champions League.
Torino don’t want to lose their man, so they’ll be offering a new deal to one of the “pillars” they want to build the team around.
Are we bored of summer centre-back rumours yet?Poch wants one of the men who broke his heart
You may vaguely remember a sunnier, brighter, happier time all of 21 months ago, when Liverpool defeated Tottenham 2-0 in a type of game known as a final, where the winner typically collects a big, shiny piece of furniture which is colloquially known as “Big Ears”.
Gini Wijnaldum was a key part of the team which won on that occasion, leaving Mauricio Pochettino – among others – in tears on the sidelines.
Now, he wants his revenge, by taking the Dutch midfielder away from Anfield and forcing him to play teams like Dijon, Angers and Nimes for the rest of eternity.
Or else PSG want him on a free because he’s boss and will give him the massive pay rise he wants. You decide which is true.Senior moments
LFC is once more in mourning and our thoughts are with Alisson Becker.Quickfire LFC news
“To have Dele back at this level, is amazing.”
That’s Jose Mourinho, after Dele scored one and assisted two against Austria’s fifth-best side Wolfsberger in the Europa League after being 4-1 up from the first leg.
Two questions: Who coached him ‘down’ from that level in the first place and left him out the team for so long? And who probably won’t pick him to play at the weekend anyway?Tweet of the day
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 25, 2021Worth watching tonight
Europa League tonight and the best-looking ties with lots riding on them are Ajax vs Lille (early) or Leverkusen vs Young Boys (late).
A Spanish journalist has made the wild claim that Mohamed Salah “confirmed to him” that he is not happy at Liverpool, in an interview with an Egyptian TV network.
Speculation over Salah’s future with the Reds has mounted throughout the current campaign, fuelled by a number of comments from the No. 11 to various outlets.
Most notably, the Egypt international spoke to Spanish publication AS back in December, conceding that while he wants to “break every record” at Liverpool the situation is “in the club’s hands.”
Salah described Real Madrid and Barcelona as “top clubs,” and it appears that the media in both Spain and his native Egypt are gearing towards a high-profile transfer to LaLiga.
Cornago is said to have claimed that “Salah has confirmed to me that he is not happy at Liverpool,” before arguing that, out of Real and Barcelona, the Madrid club would “suit him better.”
This follows another interview with OnTime Sports on Wednesday, that being with ex-Bolton forward Jay-Jay Okocha, who strangely advised Salah that he should join Barcelona.
It appears as though the workings are in place to force through a move away from Anfield, though whether they come from the player himself is questionable.
Salah is Egypt’s biggest star, and it would work in the favour of the media in both his homeland and in Spain if he were to swap Liverpool for either Real or Barcelona.
Liverpool are in a strong position when it comes to Salah’s future, however, with his contract not set to expire until 2023, and there is no indication he is looking to leave when it comes to his performances.
The 28-year-old has scored 24 and assisted four in 35 games this season, taking his goal tally to 118 in 187 appearances since arriving from Roma in 2017.
He is a legendary figure on Merseyside, and currently sits joint-13th in the club’s all-time top scorers list, level with Ian St John, excelling this season when fellow forwards Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have struggled for consistency.
During the Reds’ recent run of poor form, he pledged his commitment to the cause and to supporters, taking to Instagram to write: “We are champions and we will fight like champions, until the very end.
“We will not allow this season to be defined by the recent results we’ve had. That is my promise to all of you.”