Liverpool v FC Midtjylland

Liverpool v FC Midtjylland

Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara was injured in the Merseyside derby on 17 October

Liverpool trio Thiago Alcantara, Naby Keita and Joel Matip are unlikely to be ready to face Danish champions FC Midtjylland on Tuesday.

Keita has missed three games after testing positive for coronavirus, with Thiago and Matip injured at Everton.

Boss Jurgen Klopp says they will “probably” miss the Reds’ second Champions League group game.

“I said last week it would be day by day but I think it will be a few more days,” said the German.

The Premier League champions received a boost at the weekend when goalkeeper Alisson returned from a collarbone injury to play in the 2-1 win against Sheffield United.

The Brazil international said he was told he would face four to six weeks out after being injured at the start of the month, but played on Saturday having missed just three games.

He put the quick recovery down to daily treatment sessions of up to six hours – and a lot of praying.

“I believe in my faith and working hard helps me to make a fast recovery,” said the 28-year-old.

“Every injury that you have on the ligament – shoulder, ankle or knee – you still feel something weird. Not pain, you feel it for a while.

“But I’m 100% fit to play and I’m comfortable with that.”

‘Interested’ Klopp planned to visit Midtyjlland

Six-time European champions Liverpool will face the Danish visitors for the first time when they meet in Group D.

FC Midtyjlland were only formed in 1999 and are playing in their first Champions League campaign, having climbed the ladder partly thanks to their data-led analytical approach.

Liverpool boss Klopp said he made plans to visit the club and learn about their methods during his break after leaving Borussia Dortmund in 2015.

“I was interested to go there to have a look at what they do but then I signed to Liverpool so couldn’t do that. It is an interesting approach,” he said.

“I knew a little bit about the story of the club and the things they have tried, using science in a different way, and working very specifically.”

Klopp’s team are aiming to follow up last week’s win at Ajax with another victory against a side who lost 4-0 against Italian visitors Atalanta in their opener.

“Since yesterday, I have seen plenty of their games so I’m in the picture. They are really good,” said Klopp.

“Their 4-0 against Atalanta did not look like this kind of game. They are a football playing side, different ideas, flexible. It is a real challenge.”

Chances of qualifying?

Entertainment data company Gracenote say Liverpool have 99% chance of progressing to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis at Nielsen’s Gracenote said, “Liverpool’s 1-0 win in Amsterdam last week reduced the chance of Ajax qualifying and thus made it even more likely that the Reds will play in the knockout stages. The Euro Club Index now estimates that chance at 99%, up 2% from last week.”

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