The German boss has ruled Thiago Alcantara out of the side’s game with Man City this weekend but says Joel Matip could make his return at the Etihad. Both Thiago and Joel have been sidelined since last month’s bad-tempered Merseyside derby at Goodison Park, where Virgil van Dijk also suffered a devastating knee injury.
Alcantara managed to remain on the field for the entire 90 minutes with Everton but has been struggling with a knee problem following a reckless challenge from Richarlison which resulted in the Brazilian being sent off.
And while Spain international’s issue was not as severe as some first feared, he’s still some way from a potential come back despite being pictured in individual training at Melwood over the last few days.
Asked whether the 29-year-old midfielder could be available for Sunday’s heavyweight PL showdown: ‘No, Thiago is probably not ready to return. Maybe it was not 100 per cent clear what I said at the beginning, because I didn’t know, there was no surgery needed but it was still an injury.’
Injuries to Virgil and Fabinho have meant Reds have had to rely heavily on inexperienced duo Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips but Matip could feature on Sunday after returning to full training.
Reds, currently sitting top of the PL table, have responded in style in the wake of their humiliating 7-2 defeat at Aston Villa last month and have won their last five games in all tournaments. Pep Guardiola’s City, meanwhile, are languishing down in the tenth spot after dropping points with Leicester, Leeds and West Ham already this campaign.