MatchArsenal v Liverpool: Team news

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By Sam Williams

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Liverpool are checking on the fitness of attacker Darwin Nunez for their Premier League showdown with Arsenal on Sunday.

Nunez sustained a foot injury during the first half of the Reds’ 4-1 victory over Chelsea in midweek and, although he was able to complete that game, Jürgen Klopp revealed on Friday morning the No.9 would require assessment ahead of the visit to Emirates Stadium.

“I don’t know if Darwin is available or not because after 20 minutes somebody stepped on his foot and it was very painful after the game,” the manager said, at his pre-match press conference.

“He only took his boot off after the game because he didn’t want to see it before, he knew there was something. So, he left the stadium in a boot, and it was not a football boot.

“So, nothing broke, X-ray clear, but [it is] swollen and we have to see if he can get his foot back into a boot or not because we all know that takes time. I did not see him this morning so we have to wait a little bit.”

Nunez was subsequently pictured participating in Liverpool’s training session on Friday afternoon.

Three senior players – Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson and Dominik Szoboszlai – have returned from injuries in the past week and Klopp was asked whether having more options for selection presents him with a ‘challenge’.

The boss replied: “That is not a challenge, it is for this one moment – the first moment in the season – kind of a luxury problem and more players available for different positions than we can start. But it is absolutely no problem, it is just good.

“This week, between Arsenal and Burnley, is probably the only week as far as I know where there is no midweek game. After that then we go again with every three days I think and we need all of them and we need all of them in a good shape.

“We need them all, I am really happy they look like they are all in a really good shape. It is a tough opponent coming up, we need to be absolutely at our best. We played them recently, twice; both games were not perfect.

“At home we played a really good second half but not a good first half. There we won the game but it was not a game how we usually play it, Arsenal were very dominant for a long time. They had a lot of the ball and chances and we finished our situations off. We have a lot to improve and that’s what I am thinking about.

40 training photos: Thiago involved as Liverpool focus on Arsenal

Gallery40 training photos: Thiago involved as Liverpool focus on ArsenalSee 40 training photos from Liverpool's latest session ahead of their Premier League clash with Arsenal.

“Yes, then I think of course about who is the best to start that game and who might be better to come off the bench or whatever. No, it’s not a challenge, not a problem, it’s just the situation we have finally.”

Thiago Alcantara is yet to feature for Liverpool this season but the midfielder took part in Friday’s session at the AXA Training Centre.

Mohamed Salah remains sidelined with a muscle issue and Kostas Tsimikas missed all of the Reds’ fixtures in January due to the broken collarbone he picked up during the 1-1 draw with Arsenal at Anfield in late December.

Wataru Endo is on international duty – Japan play Iran in the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup today – while Stefan Bajcetic, Ben Doak and Joel Matip are long-term absentees.

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Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus is set to be fit despite a knee problem that troubled the forward before his side’s 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night. Thomas Partey is ruled out, however.

Mikel Arteta told the media on Friday: “Gabi obviously played and trained with us the whole week. With Thomas, unfortunately, we had a little setback a few days ago, so he’s not going to be available to be in the squad. Whether that’s a matter of days or weeks we’ll see, but he had a little thing.”

Takehiro Tomiyasu is, like Endo, away with Japan, but Mohamed Elneny may be available following Egypt’s elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations.

Fabio Vieira has not played since undergoing groin surgery in November and Jurrien Timber is recovering from an ACL injury.

Last match

Nottingham Forest 1-2 Arsenal (January 30): Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Rice, Odegaard, Smith Rowe, Saka, Martinelli, Jesus.

Liverpool 4-1 Chelsea (January 31): Alisson, Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez, Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Jones, Diaz, Jota, Nunez.

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