Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Liverpool trio Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Xherdan Shaqiri will all miss the Reds’ trip to Vicarage Road on Saturday with the latter hoping to be available for selection against Chelsea on Tuesday.
With the business end of the season vastly approaching, Klopp has revealed that he is ‘close’ to having the bulk of his squad primed and ready for action.
Liverpool’s club captain Henderson picked up a hamstring injury in the 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid last week whilst James Milner made a brief cameo against the La Liga outfit and Shaqiri hasn’t featured since January.
Henderson, 29, is expected to miss the Reds’ next three matches with hopes of a return potential in the return fixture against Diego Simeone’s Spanish outfit who come to Anfield on March 11.
Meanwhile, Milner, 33, hasn’t started for Liverpool since sustaining a muscle injury in the FA Cup third-round clash against Everton last month. The former England international missed Monday’s match against West Ham United as a precaution but could be involved in the trip to the capital next week to face Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.
Klopp later revealed that both Henderson and Shaqiri are “coming closer,” but neither are expected for to be involved at Stamford Bridge next Tuesday.
“All coming closer, much closer. Hendo is running, Milly is running and even more,” he revealed in his Friday afternoon press conference ahead of Saturday’s visit to Watford.
“It wasn’t enough for this game now, but we will see especially with Milly what we can do for Tuesday.
“Not sure about Hendo and Shaq, not yet, but they’re all coming closer. All good.”
What RTK has to say
Positive news from the boss with the fixtures coming thick and fast for Klopp’s English champions-elect.
Henderson was a huge miss during the 3-2 victory against West Ham with the Reds lacking that midfield general to maintain momentum on Liverpool’s side.
Far too often, Liverpool were naive and lacklustre dropping off from their usual high standards. Klopp’s team lacked their usual drive, control and energy from midfield. Far too many second balls were lost. There wasn’t that commanding presence and authority Henderson brings.
Milner will also have a part to play as Liverpool compete on three separate fronts with the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup still very much on the agenda and Milner’s experience will be vital.
Meanwhile, Shaqiri will be desperate to return to action with the Switzerland international still yet to feature for Liverpool since making a one-minute cameo against Tottenham last month – the former Bayern Munich star has started just one league match all season.