Jurgen Klopp expects to have Trent Alexander-Arnold available for selection for Liverpool’s Champions League trip to Benfica, with the full-back even potentially available for Saturday lunchtime’s Premier League visit of Watford.
Alexander-Arnold was expected to be a doubt for next weekend’s potentially crucial trip to Manchester City having sustained a hamstring injury during the international break.
The right-back missed the FA Cup quarter-final win over Nottingham Forest as a result of the blow, and also pulled out of the England squad for the friendlies against Switzerland and Ivory Coast.
Alexander-Arnold headed off for some warm weather recovery in Dubai as he sought to come back from the issue, and Klopp says he has returned in top shape.
“Trent trained yesterday in parts, and will be in full training today and we will see what we do with it,” said the Reds boss at a press conference on Friday.
“Sometimes injuries, thank God, are not that serious that you are out for five to six weeks and it is two to three weeks.
“It is tight for tomorrow but it’s possible from what I hear. Physically he should be fine, now I have to make a decision about rhythm.”
When questioned on whether Alexander-Arnold would be fit for Benfica, Klopp replied: “I think so”.
Having been 14 points behind Manchester City in mid-January, Liverpool will go top of the table with a win over Watford on Saturday, and Klopp – who confirmed that Naby Keita is a doubt for the game – called for the fans to generate a strong Anfield atmosphere for the early kick-off.
“Most of the time City have played before us,” he said..
“This time we play before them but I couldn’t care less. It is about how well we are prepared for 12.30pm.
“Watford have an experienced manager, so much talent. We have to be aware of that. We need the best 12.30pm atmosphere ever.
“If you cannot shout or sing, then stay at home and give your ticket to someone else, please.”
Mohamed Salah is expected to start for the Reds despite playing 120 minutes and missing a shootout penalty in Egypt’s disappointing World Cup playoff defeat to Senegal and his Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane, and Klopp is backing Salah to respond impressively.
“I have no doubt, Mo wants to win again,” he said.
“That’s why he was disappointed but that’s different competitions. His desire will be bigger now than lesser.
“He is a very smart person and he sees the difference. We haven’t spoken in detail [about the defeat] but he knows Senegal are tough. Unlucky.”