Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp announced that Virgil van Dijk is doubtful for Wednesday’s game against Leicester City.
It will mark the first time this season that Van Dijk has missed a Premier League match for Liverpool after helping the club to the top of the standings and a league-best of just 13 goals conceded in 23 games.
The Netherlands captain is struggling with a virus and leaves Liverpool short of options at the back given that Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold are still recovering from their respective injuries.
Fabinho, who has greatly impressed as a defender recently, is also a doubt due to a hamstring injury he sustained in Liverpool’s 4-3 win over Crystal Palace on January 19.
While the versatile James Milner is suspended after being sent off in the very same match.
On the bright side of things, however, Klopp confirmed that Croatian centre-back Dejan Lovren has recovered from his hamstring injury.
“Virg was a little bit ill, but he trained yesterday and will train today, so we will see,” said Klopp on the club website.
“Dejan [Lovren] is fine, Gini [Georginio Wijnaldum] trained [and] Fabinho will train today.
“Trent is getting closer and closer and it all looks very positive, but he will not be ready for tomorrow.”
The Reds have enjoyed a break in sunny Dubai to train in the better weather conditions given that they are already out of the FA Cup.
“It was good we could do that and usually you’d say no games in that time, usually one game in that time would be good, difficult lineup-wise as we needed couple days for the boys and a few players were not a part of training until a few days ago,” said Klopp.
“But it was good, we didn’t have to play important cup competitions but it would not have been possible for a lot of players.
“We had a few more days and now have to show [it made a difference]. But Leicester are in the same situation so it’s not a massive advantage.
“It’s just the situation and they can bring back [Harry] Maguire I heard after injury in the last game and so we had a few more days and could wait for one or two players but we have to see if they are available for the game.”
The Liverpool and Leicester game will begin at 21:00 (CET) on Wednesday at Anfield.