Klopp calls for defensive improvements from Liverpool at Porto
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Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold hasn’t travelled to Portugal for Tuesday evening’s Champions League game against FC Porto. With Manchester City visiting Anfield in a crunch Premier League clash on Sunday, the Reds will be sweating on the 22-year-old’s fitness.
As per the Liverpool ECHO, Alexander-Arnold wasn’t part of the squad that left England for the trip to Estadio do Dragao on Monday.
Liverpool have remained tight-lipped over his current status, but his absence will be a significant scare ahead of such a monumental game at the weekend.
Alexander-Arnold took part in an open training session at Kirkby earlier on Monday but was nowhere to be seen at the team hotel in the evening.
His participation could be a positive thing, with Jurgen Klopp opting to simply rest him, or he could have picked up a knock in the session.
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Klopp has a few alternatives in Alexander-Arnold’s absence, but the void he leaves is far too substantial to fill without the right side of the defence becoming a weakness.
Twenty-year-old Wales international Neco Williams has struggled with an injury over the past month but is fit again and has travelled.
James Milner impressed many when he filled in for the ill Alexander-Arnold in Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Crystal Palace earlier this month.
Klopp will also consider fourth-choice centre-back Joe Gomez as an option, but he’s far more accustomed to a central role.
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Alexander-Arnold joins Thiago Alcantara and Harvey Elliott on the sidelines for the test in Porto on Tuesday.
But Klopp has been boosted by the return of Naby Keita, who missed Saturday’s enthralling 3-3 draw at Brentford.
Liverpool have a great chance to make it two wins from two to start the new Champions League campaign.
A victory in Portugal would cement their early dominance over Atletico Madrid, AC Milan and Porto in Group B.
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The Reds started the campaign with a dramatic 3-2 triumph over Milan at Anfield after going into half-time 2-1 down.
Atletico and Porto played out a 0-0 draw, so Klopp’s side have already taken an early advantage with five group games to go.
The German boss will undoubtedly have one eye on the weekend’s Premier League title six-pointer against City.
Pep Guardiola’s side would leapfrog Liverpool at the top of the table with a statement win at Anfield following a dominant display against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
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