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Fabinho and Alisson to return for Liverpool with Jota not far behind


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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been given a three-pronged boost ahead of Thursday night's Premier League visit of Chelsea to Anfield. 

Fabinho and Alisson are both set to be thrust straight back into his starting XI.

Makeshift centre-back Fabinho has been absent for Liverpool's last four outings due to a muscle injury.

While Alisson missed the recent win away to Sheffield United following the tragic and sudden death of his father back in Brazil.

Diogo Jota - who was set to be included in the travelling party to Bramall Lane - is also likely to make a first appearance since early December.

"Ali trained now the full week and, yes, we should expect that he is able to return," Klopp told his pre-match press conference.

“Fab has now five or six sessions in his legs and we have to make a decision how we deal with that, but he looks good and is ready for the squad for sure.

“Diogo had this little stomach problem and he trained yesterday only a little bit; he was only out there for the warming-up and the rondos and then had a little run.

“I got the message this morning that he feels better again, so we will see what we can do with that.

“As I said, before he looked exceptionally well, but unfortunately he got ill overnight, so now we have to see how big the steps are he can make towards the team again.”

While Fabinho has been deputising at centre-back amid the Reds' injury crisis, his manager would prefer to see the Brazilian restored to his natural habitat.

"I think if we can find a way to bring Fab back in midfield that would be, in some games, quite helpful," Klopp said.

“I think the most consistent player this season probably is Gini Wijnaldum. Long may it continue and he played the No.6 and pretty much all the positions and all these kind of things.

"But with Fab on 6, in some games that would be absolutely helpful. So we will see."

Liverpool go into Thursday night's game trailing Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea by a point in the scrap for Champions League places.

Klopp's successor at both Mainz and Borussia Dortmund is unbeaten in his first nine games as Blues manager.

Chelsea have become increasingly miserly in defence under Tuchel, conceding just twice in those nine matches.

Klopp was asked if Liverpool will need to be patient at Anfield, "I think, first and foremost, it's quite difficult to get more possession than Chelsea," he replied.

"I think they changed maybe slightly since Frank [Lampard]. But the full package [is] required, let me say it like this.

"So you have to defend because they let the ball roll, let me say it like this. You have to work a lot and then there are situations [where] it's not that you have the ball all the time and face a deep block.

"There will be a deep block when we can be dominant but in other moments they are just defending in the right way and use then the space you give them for counter-attacks.

"Patient you always have to be but I don't think this is a game where [you have to be] specifically patient.

"You have to be patient in moments, you have to be lively in other moments.

"You have to be creative in moments and you have to show your desire for defending in all the moments because this is a top team and they will ask for a lot, and we should try to make sure that we have all the answers."

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Alisson Chelsea DIOGO JOTA Fabinho Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Premier League

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