Klopp has confirmed three Liverpool players, as well as an unspecified number of staff, have returned positive COVID-19 tests.
Meanwhile, Thiago Alcantara is a doubt to face Chelsea in the Premier League after he missed training on Thursday following his absence against Spurs and Leicester City due to COVID-19 and muscle soreness respectively.
“Three new cases in the team and a few more in the staff so it’s not so cool in the moment,” says Klopp.
On the midfielder, the German said: “Thiago, not yet. For him, it might take a bit longer. It’s a hip issue which we don’t have an idea where it’s coming from so we have to be a little bit patient with that.”
Liverpool dropped points in both games and it has emerged that the Reds have won every game that the Spaniard, who earns £225k-a-week, has played this season while they have won just under 40% of the games he has missed.
📊𝐒𝐓𝐀𝐓: Liverpool's win rate when Thiago has started this season is 100%
Liverpool's win rate when Thiago hasn't started this season is 36% pic.twitter.com/NibA43FCoV
— LFC Transfer Room (@LFCTransferRoom) December 30, 2021
A worrying statistic.
Thiago missed training on Thursday and is a major doubt for Chelsea
The Spaniard, who missed the Spurs draw due to being in isolation due to COVID-19, was not in training on Thursday and will be in a race against time to face Chelsea.
He also missed the Leicester City defeat but that was due to muscle soreness after coming out of isolation.
The Reds badly need him to return to the engine room alongside Fabinho as his defensive capabilities are badly needed.
He’s a great player and his strengths lie elsewhere but Jordan Henderson often switches off defensively and it’s happened against AC Milan, Manchester City, Brighton and now against Leicester.
Sadio Mane’s form is also a worry but Jurgen Klopp will persist with him
Normally, I would expect the German manager to bench the Senegal international against the Blues and drop him for Roberto Firmino.
He’s been out of sorts for quite some time now, failing to find the back of the net for nine consecutive games and it’s beginning to cost Liverpool.
However, with the club reaching an agreement with Senegal to keep him for the Chelsea game, it would likely rub them the wrong way if he was then benched so I imagine Klopp will have no choice but to start the 29-year-old.
Hopefully, he finds the back of the net.
Predicted starting XI: Alisson, Tsimikas, van Dijk, Matip, Trent, Fabinho, Hendo, Keita, Mane, Jota, Salah.