Three Liverpool players positive for COVID-19 ahead of Chelsea trip – Klopp


Soccer Football – Carabao Cup – Quarter Final – Liverpool v Leicester City – Anfield, Liverpool, Great Britain – December 22, 2021 Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp looks discouraged REUTERS / Craig Brough

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December 31 (Reuters) – Three Liverpool players and other staff tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the trip to Chelsea, but it is too early to ask the Premier League to postpone the game, said on Friday manager Juergen Klopp.

The league has postponed 18 games so far due to a mix of COVID-19 outbreaks and injuries at several clubs, leaving them without enough players to fill the games.

“We have three new COVID cases in the squad and a few more in the staff so it’s not that cool at the moment,” Klopp told reporters ahead of Sunday’s game in London.

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“I am not (able to reveal who tested positive) because we have to go through the whole process, PCR (tests), but you will see the day after tomorrow on the team sheet, it will be clear who is affected.”

Asked if Liverpool should request a postponement of the game, Klopp said: “Not yet, but we don’t know. We’ve never had an outbreak where 10 to 15 players have had it.

“For us it’s more every day (tests positive) … it feels like a lottery in the morning. It’s day after day another case. We don’t know what it will look like in a few hours.”

Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, Thiago Alcantara, Fabinho and Curtis Jones resumed training earlier this week after isolating themselves due to positive COVID-19 tests.

Klopp added that Thiago and Takumi Minamino, who missed the midweek loss to Leicester City due to muscle aches, were not yet fit to play.

“Taki is probably closer, he’s running outside. Thiago not yet,” said the German coach. “It might take a little longer, a hip problem – we have no idea where this is coming from. We have to be a little patient.”

Liverpool, third, are one point behind Chelsea, second, with a game short.

Leaders Manchester City are eight points ahead of Chelsea and Klopp said despite their mid-season advantage, there was still a lot to play.

“When you have that kind of close-quarters (for the title) fight, especially with a cohesive team like City who aren’t fazed by COVID or the injuries – they’re having a good time – but you can’t win the league. properly in winter. It’s unlikely, ”Klopp said.

“But what they (City) have now is a gap, it’s absolutely deserved for them, but let’s just give it a try. Only one team can be champions.

“There’s a watershed moment in April, there you have to be close enough to give it a shot. We’ll see where we are then. Until then… so many games to play, so many different competitions to play.”

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Report by Rohith Nair in Bangalore; Editing by Ken Ferris

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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