Milner aims cheeky ‘Zaha-itis’ dig at absent Trent Alexander-Arnold

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James Milner joked that Trent Alexander-Arnold would likely become the subject of some banter with regard to his illness-enforced absence from the Liverpool squad that faced Crystal Palace.

Jurgen Klopp confirmed post-match that the fullback had been kept out by illness, with Joel Matip omitted to allow the Cameroonian a chance to rest.

“Trent’s definitely going to get some ribbing for that! A bit of Zaha-itis or something like that!” the midfielder told

“It was probably three, two-and-a-half hours before the game really.

“But that’s what we’re prepared for and the training is done so anyone is ready at any time. That’s my job when I’m needed.”

In the right-back’s place, James Milner was a solid stop-gap solution, as the Reds managed to secure a valuable clean sheet in their 3-0 victory over Patrick Vieira’s new-look outfit.

READ MORE: Exclusive: ‘Jurgen, please play him’ – Ex-Red calls on Klopp to field 26-year-old star more regularly

It has to be said that the 35-year-old did need some support in the form of Mo Salah tracking back throughout the tie to help dispel the threat of Eagles frontman Wilfried Zaha.

However, it would be doing the Englishman a disservice to claim that he was entirely reliant on the interventions of the Egyptian international.

Coming on for a short cameo midweek against AC Milan, Milner has proved to be a reliable option for Klopp to call upon to suit a variety of responsibilities and situations – a utility role he excelled in once again on Saturday.

Trent was arguably at fault for the goals conceded v AC Milan… but to say he can’t defend is wide of the mark

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