Liverpool star Darwin Nunez ready for Chelsea showdown after hamstring injury recovery
- Liverpool dealing with injury crisis
- Chelsea in similar predicament
- Reds relieved at Nunez recovery
WHAT HAPPENED? Nunez has missed the Reds’ last two games with a hamstring issue, but returned to team training on Thursday and will be in contention to return to the side for Saturday’s game at Anfield.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Liverpool face Chelsea knowing a defeat, or even a draw, could spell the end of their hopes of securing Champions League qualifications. Successive league defeats, away to Brentford and Brighton, have left the Reds ninth in the Premier League table, 10 points off fourth place, although there was a welcome boost on Tuesday, with a much-improved performance giving Jurgen Klopp’s side a 1-0 win at Wolves in their FA Cup third round replay at Molineux.
AND WHAT'S MORE: The return of Nunez will come as a significant boost, with Roberto Firmino (calf), Luis Diaz (knee) and Diogo Jota (calf) all still sidelined. Defender Virgil van Dijk (hamstring) is also out, with Klopp hinting after the Wolves game that the likes of Harvey Elliott, Naby Keita and Joe Gomez, as well as teenage midfielder Stefan Bajcetic, could keep their place for the visit of Chelsea.
DID YOU KNOW? Only five players have reached 10 goals for Liverpool quicker than Nunez in the Premier League era. The Uruguayan did so in only 23 matches, with only Robbie Fowler, Daniel Sturridge, Fernando Torres, Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota doing so in fewer.
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WHAT NEXT FOR LIVERPOOL? Liverpool follow Saturday’s game with Chelsea with a return to the Amex Stadium, as they take on Brighton in the FA Cup fourth round on January 29.