Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho were the major absentees from Liverpool’s Friday afternoon training session at Melwood as Jurgen Klopp and his team finalise preparations for the Arsenal match on Monday.
Both players were given an overdue rest after the defensive duo both played a half during Liverpool’s 7-2 victory against Lincoln City in the Carabao Cup on Thursday.
Liverpool’s most recently utilised central defensive partnership are both expected to start against the Gunners following an imperious performance from the Reds duo in the 2-0 victory against Chelsea last week.
Jurgen Klopp could look to pair both Van Dijk and Fabinho again on Monday despite Joe Gomez returning to training on Friday.
The England international was pictured back in action for the first time since sustaining a minor injury that saw him miss both matches against Chelsea and Lincoln.
Billy Koumetio was also back in the first-team mix following a fitness assessment on Wednesday that deemed the 17-year-old not ready to make his competitive Liverpool debut in the Carabao Cup on Thursday.
The teenager was supposed to be selected in Klopp’s squad for the Chelsea clash having impressed during Liverpool’s pre-season training camp in Austria. Koumetio had been identified as cover to the likes of Van Dijk, Gomez, Joel Matip and Fabinho which would have seem him start against Lincoln in midweek if it weren’t for a minor injury.
Instead, it was 19-year-old Rhys Williams who stepped in and produced a stunning performance during his Liverpool debut against Lincoln.
Koumetio has since recovered and was among those pictured in training on Friday.
Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joel Matip remain Liverpool’s only injury concerns with all three confirmed as absentees for the Arsenal clash.
Klopp confirmed Liverpool’s club captain had not recovered from his thigh problem in time to feature under the Anfield lights on Monday night.
Speaking during his Friday afternoon press conference, Klopp said: “Hendo not yet, that was clear – this game is for sure too early. I think that’s it, pretty much.”
New signings Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota were also among the Melwood session and were pictured kitted up in their training kit for the first time since their respective moves from Bayern Munich and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Thiago made his Liverpool debut at Stamford Bridge last weekend off the bench whilst Jota featured in a late cameo during at Sincil Bank on Thursday.
Both players are expected to be selected in Klopp’s squad to face Arsenal.
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