Two key Liverpool players have stepped up their fight to be fit in time for Sunday’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace at Anfield.
Joel Matip and Lucas Leiva were labelled as major doubts in Jurgen Klopp’s pre-match press conference on Thursday but have since displayed signs to suggest they could yet make themselves available.
Both were absent from full training on Friday but made sufficient progress in their session with the rehab staff, according to the Liverpool Echo.
The potential loss of Matip, Lucas and Klavan, who was also described as a doubt, has sparked slight concern and debate over what starting lineup Klopp will field.
Early suggestions have ranged from 19-year-old Joe Gomez slotting in beside Dejan Lovren at centre-back, James Milner moving into midfield and Alberto Moreno coming in at left-back, Daniel Sturridge playing up top and even youngster Marko Grujic being given a rare start.
Either one of Matip or Lucas returning to fitness in time would be a significant boost in terms of providing greater defensive expertise to help combat a potent Crystal Palace attack and Christian Benteke’s aerial presence in particular.
A scenario in which both are available would undoubtedly see Klopp field the same eleven that earned a 1-0 win over West Brom last time out, meaning Matip would retain his place alongside Lovren and Lucas would continue as the team’s holding midfielder.