No injury returns ahead of Villa game

Naby Keita, Diogo Jota and Joel Matip remain unavailable for Friday's clash at Aston Villa.

The reds travel to Villa Park for the FA Cup 3rd round, in a competition that has not featured highly in Jurgen Klopp's plans since joining the reds.

Both Matip (adductor) and Keita (fitness) will be assessed ahead of the game v Man United later this month - while Diogo Jota is still a couple of weeks away from a return to team training.

Jota, despite only joining this season, has already become a noticeable absentee with the reds strangely struggling since a 7-0 demolition of Crystal Palace.

Klopp spoke about the Portugese youngster:

“It will still take time, he is still wearing a brace, so that means he is still a few weeks away from team training.

“There is nothing really to say, it takes time. There was no surgery needed, which was good, but it was a proper injury.

“It is not a little knock or something; no, no, and it will still take time. There is no real timeframe there.”

Despite a desire to get several first team players back in to form, it is likely that the reds will make wholesale changes to the line up which could give another chance to the likes of Takumi Minamino who sit just outside the first choice XI.

Klopp has been pleased with his adaptation to English football:

“You come in, a new club and everybody thinks that you will score 20, 30, 40 goals and stuff like this.

“He is in a good shape – he developed, he got used to it.

"He was a good player when we signed him, obviously, but he got used to the intensity, the league, training, all this stuff.

“He made big steps. I know the last game he played was Crystal Palace and since then we didn’t win another [game], so we should think about involving him, obviously.”

Liverpool's Friday night game kicks off at 7:45pm and will be broadcast live on BT Sport.

Aston Villa have said that their club is suffering a severe coronavirus outbreak but the game has, as of yet, not been called off.

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