Liverpool will field a side mixed with youth and experience for Sunday’s Emirates FA Cup third-round tie with Shrewsbury Town at Anfield.
The Reds returned to the AXA Training Centre on Friday after the facility was closed for a 48-hour period following a significant number of suspected positive COVID-19 test results among the playing squad and staff.
With Jürgen Klopp and Pepijn Lijnders isolating, training was led by Peter Krawietz – and the assistant manager offered an update on the situation when addressing the media on Saturday lunchtime.
“I can’t tell you exact numbers, but obviously the situation is like that for the game tomorrow,” he said in relation to the club’s number of suspected positive COVID-19 tests. “We have a squad, we have a team, we can play and we will try to win this game.
“There’s a difficult situation out there. We had a couple of injuries, illness, COVID cases and this is the situation we have to deal with. We still have to wait for a few results as well; the players are not here [yet] for today, so they have to do their test before they can join the building and this is why I cannot speak about the exact numbers.”
Krawietz confirmed Liverpool have recalled one player from a loan to join the squad for the visit of the League One side, but suspected positive COVID-19 tests among the U23s set-up will impact selection considerations.
He said: “The situation with the loan players, yes, we have one loan player back and he will probably join the squad tomorrow.
“Of course, we are searching for options for this game and for the squad for tomorrow nearly everywhere, but we found enough players to build a team and have a squad for tomorrow.
“In the U23s we had a few COVID cases as well. A few players are back now again and can join the squad and we will choose a team which is able to follow our football way.
“Can we expect a perfect set-up for tomorrow? No, of course we can’t but we can always show the right and perfect reaction to what is happening on the pitch. This is what we try to do, a proper team performance with experienced leaders in the team and young players who will get this fantastic experience to play at Anfield and feel the support of our supporters.”
One player who could return is Joel Matip.
The centre-back took part in training on Friday afternoon having missed last weekend’s draw at Chelsea due to a positive COVID test result.
“Joel Matip joined training yesterday again, but we have to see if he is available for tomorrow or not,” confirmed Krawietz.
There could also be a return on the sidelines, too, with Klopp in line to resume managerial duties following his spell in isolation.
“We hope so, of course,” said Krawietz when asked if the manager could be back on the touchline on Sunday.
“He is well so far, he feels fine, but of course the regulations are how they are and for this he has to do tests as well. We hope he will be fine to be in tomorrow, yes.”
Shrewsbury, who defeated Carlisle United in round two, will assess the fitness of forward Daniel Udoh prior the trip to Merseyside.
Manager Steve Cotterill reported: "We'll leave Dan as long as we possibly can.
"What he'll need to do is get a couple of days of training in him for us to think about including him. Other than that, we're good to go now."
On the contest, Cotterill continued: "[I'm] looking forward to it. We've wanted to get a big draw ever since the draw was made for the first round and that's what you sell to the players."
Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool (January 2): Kelleher, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas, Fabinho, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Jota, Salah.
Shrewsbury 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday (January 2): Marosi, Pennington, Ebanks-Landell, Nurse, Bennett, Ogbeta, Davis, Leahy, Vela, Bowman, Udoh.