Manchester City v Liverpool: Team news
Liverpool will assess the readiness of the players who have returned from the World Cup ahead of Thursday night's Carabao Cup tie with Manchester City.
The Reds get their 2022-23 campaign back up and running by visiting Etihad Stadium for an 8pm GMT kick-off in the competition’s fourth round.
Previewing the tie at a press conference on Wednesday, assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders explained the plan for those who are now back on club duty after representing their countries.
“They come back with a strong feeling, the ones who are already back, like Hendo, like Trent, like Ali, like Fabinho, you see they take a good energy, a good tempo with them, and confidence with them. So that’s important,” he said.
Lijnders added: “We have one more session to go and today we will see how everybody is physically. The boys who came back earlier look really good but we know they had a long time off – like eight, nine days – which they need.”
Curtis Jones is a week away from resuming team training, however, and Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Arthur Melo remain sidelined as they recover from injuries.
Lijnders also provided an update on the fitness of Kaide Gordon, who started two matches as Liverpool lifted the League Cup last term.
“He went with us to Dubai and started running [for the] first time,” said the Dutchman. “We know with these long-term injuries, where there is a lot of uncertainty, that he deserves a mention as well because the boy is very professional and gives everything.
“Even when new boys are coming up and flying and making big steps, we never will forget the old young ones, basically.”
An appearance for Kostas Tsimikas in Manchester would be his 50th for the club.
For City, meanwhile, Pep Guardiola reported six more players had returned to training with the club on Wednesday after participation at the World Cup.
They followed the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Nathan Ake, Rodrigo, Aymeric Laporte and Manuel Akanji, who had already been back in sessions.
“Step by step people come back,” said Guardiola. “Today six players come back and it’s the first time. We are happy they are back and in general they played really well.”
He continued: “I have the feeling the players who were at the World Cup are in better condition than the players who were here.
“So, Sergio [Gomez], Erling [Haaland], Riyad [Mahrez], Cole [Palmer] the rhythm they miss a little bit compared to, for example, Manuel Akanji, Rodri, Aymeric and Nathan. They come back and we saw them so good perfectly, that’s normal.
“They competed and trained every day, and we had holidays. That’s why the most important [thing] was to keep the rhythm and for the players who were not in the World Cup to gain the rhythm.”
Julian Alvarez is not available for the visit of Liverpool after being part of the Argentina team that lifted the World Cup last Sunday.