Liverpool receive a major midfield boost as Naby Keita returns to training after going off on a stretcher following Paul Pogba’s horror lunge in 5-0 win at Manchester United… and Thiago Alcantara is also back from injury
- Naby Keita and Thiago return to training for Liverpool ahead of Brighton’s visit
- It’s a major boost for Jurgen Klopp to have his two midfielders back playing
- Keita was taken off on a stretcher in Liverpool’s 5-0 thrashing of Man United
- Spaniard Thiago has been absent since September after picking up a calf injury
- But the duo could now be in line to make the bench for Brighton’s visit to Anfield
Liverpool have been handed a major boost in their quest to maintain their unbeaten start to the season as they welcomed Naby Keita and Thiago back to training.
Jurgen Klopp’s men humiliated arch-rivals Manchester United on their own turf last weekend, with the Reds scoring five past David de Gea to spark scenes of bedlam in the away end.
The result was soured after Keita was worryingly taken off on a stretcher in the second half following a reckless two-footed lunge from Paul Pogba, who saw his initial yellow card for the tackle overturned and swapped for a straight red.
Naby Keita (left) and Thiago (right) have returned to Liveprool training ahead of Brighton’s visit
It’s a major boost for boss Jurgen Klopp to have the two midfielders back from injury
However, Keita’s injury wasn’t as bad as first feared and is now in line to make a swift return to the team after he was pictured training with the group on Thursday afternoon.
Liverpool assistant boss Pep Lijnders provided fans with a brief update on Keita’s injury, saying the midfielder had only suffered bruising from Pogba’s crunching tackle.
Lijnders told the club’s official website before their 2-0 win over Preston in the Carabao Cup: ‘Naby has a bruise in this moment, we assess it day by day. It’s looking good, so that’s good.’
Keita (left) is in line to feature for Liverpool against the Seagulls at Anfield this weekend
While Thiago (centre) is likely to be eased back into the fold after spending a month out injured
And the news got better for Liverpool fans after Thiago was also pictured back in training alongside Keita, with the pair joking and laughing as they both took part in amusing-looking drills.
While the pair were back with the main group, Lijnders revealed that the Spaniard is still a doubt whether he will feature for Brighton’s trip to Anfield on Sunday.
‘Thiago – Brighton will be close, but probably not. He’s almost back,’ he added.
Thiago has been out of action since Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Crystal Palace on September 18, after he picked up a calf injury.
But a return for Keita is certainly on the agenda, given how he has featured prominently for Klopp in recent weeks.
Keita scored Liverpool’s first goal in a 5-0 mauling of Man United at Old Trafford on Sunday
But was taken off on a stretcher in the second half following a horror challenge by Paul Pogba
Keita was forced off after horror red-card tackle from Pogba in Liverpool’s 5-0 victory
Keita and James Milner formed a midfield three alongside captain Jordan Henderson with Curtis Jones coming on for the injured Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replacing Keita after he was on the receiving end of Pogba’s dangerous challenge.
Liverpool annihilated United after Keita put them ahead inside the opening five minutes. Goals from Diogo Jota and two from Mohamed Salah saw them head into the break four goals to the good.
Salah scored his third and Liverpool’s fifth 10 minutes before Pogba was dismissed as Klopp’s outfit totally humiliated Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.