Liverpool could be without eight first-team players on Wednesday night as they play host to Serie A side Atalanta at Anfield, but have welcomed the return of Mo Salah – who tested negative after initially contracting the virus while on international duty.
Salah trained on Monday and is now expected to start for Liverpool, who will be looking to maintain their 100% start to the Champions League group stage. Last time out in Europe, they dispatched of Wednesday night’s opponents, with a 5-0 win.
It was a rout in Italy, with summer signing Diogo Jota netting a hat-trick and Sadio Mane also getting in on the act. But the Reds will be without eight other players – including long-term absentees Virgil van Dijk and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Joining those two will be Joe Gomez, Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Xherdan Shaqiri and Thiago. But young defender Rhys Williams could also come back in – with Jurgen Klopp likely to give a few fringe players a go.
Williams could benefit, with Nat Phillips not included in Liverpool’s Champions League squad. Meanwhile, Takumi Minamino, Neco Williams and Divock Origi all came on as subs against Leicester on Sunday and could now be handed a start.
Konstantinos Tsimikas could come in to give Andy Robertson a break, while Fabinho and James Milner could move from the defence into midfield – giving Gini Wijnaldum a rest, and replacing Keita who picked up an injury aganist the Foxes.
Salah is expected to start after missing Sunday’s win, but could form a front three with Origi and Minamino. Six potential changes for Liverpool then, ahead of Saturday’s trip to the south coast to take on Brighton.
In come Neco and Rhys Williams, Tsimikas, Salah, Origi and Minamino – out go Robertson, Wijnaldum, Keita, Jota, Firmino and Mane. Tsimikas, 24, could get just his second start since joining from Olympiakos.