“A Few Weeks” – Liverpool ‘Genius’ Ruled Out Ahead Of Carabao Cup Showdown; VVD ‘Back’

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By Stephen Edmond

Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has announced Virgil Van Dijk is set to feature in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final tie against Fulham after recovering from an illness.

The Liverpool captain travelled with the Reds to London at the weekend, however, was sent home ill on the eve of Sunday’s FA Cup fixture at Arsenal.
Following the victory at the Emirates Klopp said: “He came and had to leave. It’s difficult for Virg to look shit, but he did, so we sent him home again.”

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Speaking at the press conference today (Tuesday), Lijnders said: “Virgil is back. He did some runs yesterday on the pitch and looked good again. So he will be back in the squad, he recovered well. So, it really helped him not to travel to London.”

Ibrahima Konate and Jarell Quansah started for Liverpool on Sunday, with no senior centre-back on the bench as Joe Gomez continued to occupy the left-back role.

The duo managed a clean sheet in the third-round tie, with Klopp describing their performance as “top, top, oh my god!”
However, the Dutchman is expected to slot straight back into the defence for the Carabao Cup fixture, as he hopes to gain one step closer to lifting his first trophy as Liverpool captain.

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Vice-Captain Trent Alexander-Arnold is expected to miss the fixture however, with the defender expected to be out for a few weeks with a knee injury, potentially posing an opportunity for Conor Bradley to slot in at right back.

Lijnders said: “So he has a little tear in the lateral ligament of his knee and he will need time to recover. He had a scan and he will be out for a few weeks, so let’s see after that.”

Meanwhile, Dominik Szoboszlai will also miss the clash with the Cottagers at Anfield. 

Both long-term absentees Thiago and Stefan Bajcetic are eyeing returns to training in early February whilst full-back duo Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsmikas could make their comebacks at the end of the month. 

Klopp’s side take on Fulham on Wednesday night at Anfield with kick-off at 8pm as they look to get one foot into the Carabao Cup Final.

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Whilst the loss of Alexander-Arnold is a huge blow to the Reds, timing-wise, it could’ve been far more damaging as with an 11-day break after Fulham at Anfield and only two Premier League fixtures in January, Klopp could be counting his very small blessings. 

Either way, the Anfield club will be desperate to get their influential full-back – hailed as a ‘genius‘ in October 2022 – back fit and firing as soon as possible. 


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