Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has confirmed (via the club’s Twitter account) that Naby Keita is back. Keita will be available for selection as Liverpool face Milton Keynes Dons in the EFL Cup Third Round on Wednesday night.
Here are some of the main talking points as Lijnders gave a comprehensive update on the squad ahead of the MK Dons clash.
The main news was the return of Keita. The Guinea midfielder has had a torn muscle which has kept him out since the opening day of the season. He sat on the bench against Norwich City after playing 23 minutes in the Community Shield.
But he has not made a matchday squad since. Liverpool’s options have been boosted by Lijnders declaring the 24-year-old fit. He is likely to feature against MK Dons – either from the start or as a substitute as he looks to get his sharpness back.
Shaqiri ruled out
There is bad news for Liverpool too, though. Xherdan Shaqiri is out with a calf injury, Lijnders confirmed. Sadio Mane will also not be risked after picking up an injury against Chelsea.
These two midfielders join Divock Origi and Alisson Becker on the sidelines. Origi’s injury is not thought to be serious while Alisson will remain out for a while. Shaqiri would have hoped to be fit for this game to prove a point but he is not available.
Young trio could feature
Liverpool assistant Lijnders mentioned three youngsters who could be given their debuts. Goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher could be in line for a first senior game with Alisson out, Adrian rested and Andy Lonergan not the long-term priority.
Meanwhile, Rhian Brewster’s wait for his Liverpool debut is finally coming to an end. The England U21 striker should get his debut with Origi, Mane and Shaqiri sidelined. Harvey Elliott is another youngster in contention.