Liverpool - The mood at Liverpool is an optimistic one
despite the frustration of Monday's goalless draw at home to Manchester United,
as Jurgen Klopp's injury list shortens.
Georginio Wijnaldum's influence was missed against United as
he recovered from a hip injury sustained on World Cup duty with the
Netherlands, but the midfielder is back in training and ready to play against
West Brom at Anfield on Saturday.
Fellow midfielder Adam Lallana, who played half-an-hour as a
substitute on Monday, has fully recovered from a groin problem and should be
able to play a fuller part this weekend.
Liverpool had won five successive matches in all
competitions before the draw against Jose Mourinho's side, remain well-placed
going into the weekend, sitting fourth in the Premier League, two points behind
faltering leaders Manchester City.
The return of Wijnaldum and Lallana, who have both made
impressive starts to the season, has given Liverpool a significant lift.
"He's a very good footballer, very important for
us," said Liverpool manager Klopp of Lallana. "Since I've been here,
he's on a constant high level.
"When he was very young, he was already captain of
Southampton, so that says a lot about him. He's a smart boy and now at an age
where experience helps you more and more if you are smart enough. That's what
he uses. He's a real Liverpool player, loves this club.
"Obviously Southampton still miss him. A lot of players
left Southampton in the last few years but with Adam they are still not happy
that he is not there any more.
"That says a lot about his quality and influence he had
already at Southampton. Now he's here and I am really happy about this
Also read: Liverpool shown up by Man Utd, says Mourinho
The German also insisted he was happy with his goalkeeper,
despite criticism of Loris Karius since he displaced the inconsistent Simon
Karius had one nervous moment on Monday when he got into a
mix-up with team-mate Dejan Lovren, but did come out of the match with his
first Premier League clean sheet at the third attempt.
"He has made a very good start, that's how it is,"
said Klopp. "We watched him for a long time and especially in the last two
years in the Bundesliga, he was outstanding. But he is still a young boy, for a
"So, of course, he has to improve and can improve, but
with the start I feel quite comfortable and everything is good."
For West Brom, Saido Berahino is again the centre of
attention despite having not played for the club since September 10.
The young striker appears certain to be a substitute at best
at Anfield after it emerged he has been placed on a personal fitness programme.
Berahino, who was adjudged to be overweight by West Brom
boss Tony Pulis, has lost his place as the club's leading striker to Salomon
Rondon, who has formed an impressive partnership with pre-season signing and
new 'No.10' Nacer Chadli.
"I can't sing his praises enough, he's a top
player," said West Brom winger Matt Phillips. "If you provide him
with service, he's going to score. I didn't realise how good he was until I
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