Joe Gomez was continuing to work his way back to full fitness in his rehabilitation programme from a knee injury at the AXA Training Centre on Thursday.
The centre-back has not figured for Liverpool since November 8 after sustaining the issue while on international duty with England.
Gomez subsequently underwent successful surgery to repair a tendon in his left knee before embarking on the road to a comeback with the Reds medical team.
No timescale is being placed upon his return, but as our photos below show, the 23-year-old is continuing to make steps towards it.
Photos by Andrew Powell - @andyphotolfc
Tyler Morton has signed a new long-term contract with Liverpool FC.
The 18-year-old from Wallasey joined the Reds at the age of seven and has since progressed through the year groups.
He broke into the U18 team last season, scoring his first goal in a memorable 6-1 Merseyside derby victory over Everton.
A talented central midfielder, Morton can play as a holding playmaker or push further forward to make use of his goalscoring ability.
He started this season in the U18s, with his three goals including a double against Newcastle United on his 18th birthday in late October, before moving up to Barry Lewtas’ U23 squad.
Morton has netted three times in the team’s last four Premier League 2 fixtures, including the equaliser against Everton in the mini-derby earlier this week.
Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has made "really promising" progress in his rehabilitation from an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Van Dijk has missed the majority of the season after sustaining the injury in a challenge with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during the Merseyside derby on October 17.
Klopp has confirmed the 29-year-old is progressing well in his recovery but says it is too early to predict a potential return date for the Netherlands international.Thursday 21st January 7:30pm Kick off 8:00pm
"I don't know what is possible and what is not possible, I don't know if I'm the right person to judge that 100 per cent, but he looks really good," said the Liverpool manager.
"I spoke with him this morning on the phone and he is in a really good mood, so it's all very promising. But I don't know when he will be back.
"There are a lot of stages still to go over and to pass - that is clear. I had this injury myself.Image: Van Dijk suffered the injury in a challenge with Everton's Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby on October 17
"But for the time we are in, for how long he is out now and how long the rehabilitation has been going on, he looks really, really promising."
Liverpool have struggled for consistency without Van Dijk in central defence and have dropped to fourth in the Premier League following Sunday's goalless draw with Manchester United.
Klopp was forced to play midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho in central defence against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side but the Liverpool manager is hopeful of having Joel Matip back from injury for Thursday's match against Burnley, live on Sky Sports.
Matip has missed Liverpool's last four matches with an adductor injury but is now back in full training ahead of the match at Anfield.
However, Klopp admits it will be a number of weeks before Diogo Jota will be available for selection, as he continues his recovery from a knee injury.0:56 Klopp admits Liverpool are not 'where they want to be' with the champions fourth in the Premier League
"Diogo is still a few weeks away, I don't know exactly how long but it will not be in the next one or two weeks," added Klopp.
"He needs time, the injury needs time. How much I miss the player is not important because when the player is not there, we are not allowed to miss him. We never think like that.
"That is why we have to deal with the situation, that is what we've done and we'll all be happy when, hopefully in the near future, he will be back again."Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool form down to small margins Image: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has played down his side's recent run of form - despite going four matches without a win and three without scoring
Jurgen Klopp has played down Liverpool's current form, believing only small margins are separating his side from a return to winning ways.
Four matches without a win, the last three without scoring, has led to scrutiny not previously experienced by the defending champions.2:57 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the goalless draw between Liverpool and Manchester United in the Premier League
A lack of goals is being held up as the prime reason for their recent failure but Klopp is refusing to panic, instead looking at the bigger picture.
"We all know it is all about results but sometimes you can see little steps in the right direction or not," he said.
"But it is nothing for you [the media] because you can't deal with small details. You make them big things. You are not ready for this information.
"We wanted to play better but there were a lot of good signs and I cannot ignore them and I will not.
We can’t be at Anfield tonight, but you can listen to the sounds that legendary Anfield stadium announcer George Sephton would be playing out pre-match.
The Voice of Anfield, George has been playing the tunes that get the crowd warmed up at Anfield for 50 years.
We’ve teamed up with KopConnect Radio to give you a small taste of being at the home of Liverpool as they prepare for a match, while in the comfort of your own home.
George and host Marc Kenny briefly chat about the game ahead, but it’s really about the tunes that George would be playing if you were at Anfield tonight – selecting some that would get you warmed up on a cold Thursday night in January!
It’s an eclectic mix for this one, featuring local artists Joe Symes and Jamie Webster. Listen to the show below now:
One track George picks out is a classic from James, with Sit Down being the soundtrack for a Mohamed Salah song sung by the Kop.
* Let us know your thoughts on the show in the comments below and what you’d like to listen to on future pre-match playlists.
Dejan Lovren has insisted he has no regrets over leaving Liverpool for Zenit St Petersburg last summer, and has claimed the club “miss me more than I miss them.”
Now, however, the Reds are without both Van Dijk and Gomez for the long term, while Matip faces an ongoing battle with regular fitness issues, leaving Fabinho partnering a revolving door of stand-ins.
Liverpool could arguably benefit from a player like Lovren during this shortage, despite the grievances of supporters over his input during his time on Merseyside, but the Croatian insists he is settled at Zenit.
In a lengthy interview conducted with Zenit during their winter break – a time in which it has been proposed he could return to his former club on a short-term loan – the 31-year-old said: “I think they miss me more than I miss them.”
“I never regret anything and this is a feeling I don’t allow in my head,” he said, when asked about the prospect of more regular game time at Liverpool due to the number of injuries.
“I made the decision to leave Liverpool. I wasn’t feeling happy there towards the end, because I wasn’t playing.
“I am happy that I decided to come here and I think they miss me more than I miss them.
“Jurgen Klopp knows that, we sometimes chat and he once wrote to me that he misses me. I did not answer that.”
At 31, Lovren believes he made the right decision moving to Zenit – who are currently four points clear at the top of the Russian Premier League table – having made 23 appearances for the club so far this season, with five as captain.
He appears to have taken the armband on a permanent basis at this stage, with previous incumbent Artem Dzyuba stripped of the role in November, which Lovren says was “unexpected.”
But his comments on whether Zenit would be able to compete in the English top flight suggest he acknowledges he made a step down in leaving Liverpool for Russia.
“Zenit’s problem is not the quality of players at the club, but in their attitude to the game,” he explained when asked where he feels his new side would finish in the Premier League.
“You can’t relax, you need to be ready to battle in every match. As soon as you relax, you are immediately punished.
“So to answer your question, if our players were ready to battle in every game, then we would have a good chance of finishing mid-table.”
For all parties, Lovren’s £10.9 million switch was the right move, but he may be correct in claiming Klopp may be missing him at this desperate point in the absence of Van Dijk and Gomez.
Nevertheless, this is not to suggest the Liverpool manager hasn’t moved on – and there will be no regrets on either side.
Nick Pope believes Liverpool’s recent lean run in front of goal makes them an even more dangerous proposition ahead of Burnley’s visit to Anfield on Thursday evening.
The vaunted front trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have been largely subdued lately, with the Reds scoring once in their last four Premier League matches – and none in their most recent three top-flight games.
Liverpool will be hoping to break that undesirable streak against the only side to avoid defeat at their Merseyside fortress last season – when Pope’s performance was highly praised by Jurgen Klopp following a 1-1 draw last July.
But when it was put to him that now is a good time to face the defending champions, a circumspect Pope said: “I don’t think there is any danger of us thinking that or taking Liverpool lightly.
“They have scored one in four and you kind of think there will be goals around the corner. I don’t think we will be looking in four games’ time and they have only scored one more. I think we have got to be wary of that.
“Going into the game we cannot take them lightly or look at them less so than we did last season when we went to Anfield and they were already champions. The mindset and attitude we have to have is the same as last season.
“We have to be confident. We are going around the Premier League to different grounds in a lot better place to a couple of years ago. We are kind of thinking we can get points anywhere.
“We need to have that attitude: no fear, protect our goal, attack with freedom and try to get points out of the game.”
Pope, who made his full Premier League debut at Anfield in a game which also ended as a 1-1 draw in September 2017, spoke of his relief and optimism at the club’s recent takeover, which ended months of speculation.
Investment firm ALK Capital completed its acquisition of Burnley on New Year’s Eve and new chairman Alan Pace has pledged to back manager Sean Dyche in the January transfer window to help the club retain their top-flight status.
Pope said: “When it dragged on and you hear rumours and then it doesn’t get done, I think that doesn’t help a team.
“I’ve been at clubs before where takeovers are spoken about and rumoured but don’t happen or take a long time to happen and that can have a negative effect.
“The fact that it got done, it does give you a boost and drains away all the negativity. We can look forward now. The new owners seem ambitious and want to take the club forward and what more can you ask for as a player or fan?”
[unable to retrieve full-text content]Visit our Match Centre to follow live and interactive build-up, updates and commentary, and reaction as Liverpool face Burnley in the Premier League.
Jürgen Klopp details a mindset in which Liverpool see their current ‘tough moment’ as an opportunity during his notes for tonight’s official matchday programme.
The champions will look to get back to winning ways in the Premier League when they host Burnley at Anfield this evening.
And, ahead of the game, the boss has outlined the determination of his players and staff to navigate their way through a period of below-par results.
“We have to earn the right to win through our commitment. This is what we are all about and I look forward to seeing my boys embrace this challenge,” Klopp writes.
“We come into the game with some focus on our recent form and I am fine with this. It is absolutely OK for those questions to be asked. When you are blessed to work at this club you know each and every performance brings close scrutiny. This level of interest in us is a privilege and it’s a pressure we should embrace.
“For us, even though we are aware of the questions around us, we must not be distracted by them. Our focus must be on the solution. We are our own solution. And, in this moment, it’s my job specifically to make sure we find a way.
“I have faced legitimate questions since the Christmas period which were often framed about ‘getting back to what we were previously’. I maybe have used this phrase myself – I wouldn’t be sure without checking.
“But really that isn’t the solution. The mindset for us should always be about looking ahead and not backwards. Simply reverting to what has gone before, no matter how good it was, won’t be enough in a league as competitive as this one.
“We have some basic principles in how we approach our work and we must adhere to those. They include being brave, showing humility by aiming to work harder than your opponent, bringing the intensity in each moment and sacrificing for the team. These – plus other – guiding practices, are still very much embedded into our environment.
“This team finds a way. It has done consistently for us in recent seasons and it will do now and again in the future. We are in a tough moment – no-one hides from this – but we view it as an opportunity. Another challenge to be met.”
Jurgen Klopp has played down Liverpool’s current form, believing only small margins are separating his side from a return to winning ways.
Four matches without a win, the last three without scoring, has led to scrutiny not previously experienced by the defending champions.
A lack of goals is being held up as the prime reason for their recent failure but Klopp is refusing to panic, instead looking at the bigger picture.Thursday 21st January 7:30pm Kick off 8:00pm
"We all know it is all about results but sometimes you can see little steps in the right direction or not," he said.
"But it is nothing for you (the media) because you can't deal with small details. You make them big things. You are not ready for this information.
"We wanted to play better but there were a lot of good signs and I cannot ignore them and I will not.
"You cannot change the approach because everybody who has no real idea about the job expects now massive changes, from the wake-up call to the nutrition, because we don't have the results.
"Sometimes we have to be really, not stubborn, resilient maybe, and do it.
"I understand that at the moment in the press conference people think 'Oh he is so entertaining' and now they think 'What kind of mood is he in?', 'Does he see reality?'
"It (scrutiny) is just getting earlier and earlier but it is all fine. We are on it, believe me."0:56 Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool are not 'where they want to be' with the champions fourth in the Premier League, four points behind leaders Leicester.
Klopp's side cannot yet take encouragement from videos of Virgil van Dijk in Dubai stepping up his rehabilitation from surgery on an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
The club have been reluctant to rule the influential centre-back out, absent since mid-October, of the whole season and while the manager was optimistic he was also cautious about raising expectations.
"I don't know what is possible and I don't think I am the right person to judge it," he said.
"He looks really good and I spoke to him this morning and he is in a good mood but I don't know when he will be back.
"I had this injury myself but for the time we are in and how long he is out he looks really really promising."5:52 Jamie Carragher explains why Liverpool's front three have been struggling to score in recent weeks, and admits he's concerned about the form of Roberto Firmino. Carra 'worried' for Firmino at Liverpool
Liverpool's front three will soon have to be broken up and Roberto Firmino could be the first man to make way, according to Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher.
Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Firmino have been instrumental in Liverpool's success under Jurgen Klopp, scoring 183 Premier League goals between them across the last four seasons.
But their form has come under scrutiny lately following a run of three games without a goal in the Premier League, including Sunday's scoreless draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Speaking on Monday Night Football, Carragher pointed out that the trio have already been together for longer than other great Premier League front threes and while he expects Mane and Salah's form to improve - he is less sure of Firmino's long-term prospects.
Jürgen Klopp described Virgil van Dijk's ongoing injury rehabilitation as 'very promising' but there remains no timeframe for the defender's comeback.
The Liverpool No.4 is now three months into his recovery from knee ligament damage and is in upbeat spirits as he works towards full fitness.
Klopp most recently checked in with Van Dijk on Wednesday morning and later, during his pre-Burnley media previews, was asked if the Dutchman is likely to play this season.
“I don’t know what is possible and what is not possible; I don’t think I’m the right person to judge that 100 per cent,” the Reds boss responded.
“He looks really good. I spoke to him this morning, I had him on the phone – he is in a really good mood. So it’s all very promising. But I don’t know when he will be back.
“There are for sure a lot of stages still to go over or pass or whatever. That’s clear. I had this injury myself.
“But for the time we are in and for how long he is out now, how long the rehabilitation is going on, he looks really, really promising. But that’s all.”
Venue – Anfield, Liverpool
Referee – Mike Dean
Date & Time – Thursday, January 21st @ 20:00
Current Odds – Liverpool 2/11, Draw 13/2, Burnley 14/1
All Liverpool games are important to us fans, yet, this Thursday night’s fixture with Burnley has become more relevant in light of The Reds’ recent dip in form and failure to find the net.
Liverpool were certainly much-improved last Sunday against Manchester United but still couldn’t make all their possession count. The lack of clear-cut chances created was there for all to see. They will solve it, no doubt. However, the sooner the better in terms of the Premier League title race.
Thursday night against Burnley would be the ideal time to kick back into gear, please and thanks, Liverpool.FORM
After Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with Manchester United on Sunday, Jürgen Klopp’s men have now gone four Premier League games without a win. The Reds haven’t picked up three points in the league since their record-breaking 7-0 victory at Crystal Palace on December 19th. They are now 4th in the league, three points behind United.
What may be more worrying is the fact that Liverpool have failed to score in their last three league games and have only one goal in the last four.
Anything less than a win on Thursday night would be another huge disappointment. Liverpool must take all three points to get themselves out of this rut and kick-start the second half of their season.
Burnley have lost their last two games by a 1-0 scoreline. Last week, Manchester United beat them at Turf Moor thanks to a Paul Pogba strike, then West Ham beat them in London at the weekend with Michail Antonio scoring the only goal of the game.
Before that, Burnley knocked MK Dons out of the FA Cup on penalties after a 1-1 draw at home.
Sean Dyche and co are currently 17th in the Premier League on 16 points, four points above Fulham and the relegation zone.TEAM NEWS
Liverpool Team News
Liverpool are still without Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Naby Keïta, Diogo Jota and Kostas Tsimikas.
Joël Matip returned to training this week and it’s hoped he will start in this game.
With Matip likely to start, this means Jordan Henderson can play further up the pitch. The captain could play the ‘6’ role at the base of the midfield, behind Thiago Alcântara and Gini Wijnaldum. With Thiago given more licence to push forward, it could be key in ending Liverpool’s current goal drought.
Expect to see the same front three starting again as one or two of them will likely be rested for next Sunday’s FA Cup clash at Old Trafford.
Burnley Team News
Jimmy Dunne, Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Charlie Taylor are all facing late fitness tests for the visitors.
It’s likely that Burnley’s left-sided midfielder Dwight McNeil will return to the starting eleven on Thursday.
Sean Dyche normally goes with his trusted 4-4-2 formation. That means Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood will lead the line for The Clarets. It will be a tough physical test for Liverpool’s centre-halves.PREDICTED LINEUPS
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Thiago, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Burnley XI (4-4-2) – Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters; Brady, Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil; Barnes, WoodWHEN THEY LAST MET
Liverpool are seven games unbeaten against Sean Dyche’s Burnley. The Clarets’ last win over The Reds was early in Jürgen Klopp’s first full season in charge. Sam Vokes and Andre Gray scored the home side’s two goals that day in August 2016.
Last season, Liverpool drew 1-1 at home to Burnley. Andy Robertson gave The Reds a first-half lead but Jay Rodriguez equalised for the visitors after the break. The game was played in July after Klopp’s men had already secured the Premier League title. Unfortunately, it brought an end to Liverpool’s winning run at Anfield and was the only blemish on the side’s home record for the 2019/20 campaign (Pd19 W18 D1 L0).PREDICTION
LIVERPOOL 2 – 0 BURNLEY
It may not be the prettiest of games – it rarely is against Burnley – but any win will do on Thursday. Liverpool have found goals hard to come by but I expect them to go at Burnley right from the start and they should find a breakthrough if they can keep the pressure on Nick Pope’s goal for long enough.
Thursday, January 21, 2021 – 8pm (GMT)
Premier League (18)
Referee: Mike Dean
It’s not been the best few weeks, has it? It’s an unusual situation Liverpool find themselves in after nearly two seasons of perfection and now a reaction is desperately needed.
Despite much of the talk centred around the ‘makeshift’ nature of the Reds’ defence, it is the attack which needs a new lease of life after just one goal has found the net in the last four league games.
A return which has seen Jurgen Klopp‘s side slip to fourth in the table, and while the nature of the season ensures the gap is anything but insurmountable, the slide has to stop.
And the challenge which awaits is against a Burnley side who sit just four points above the relegation zone after goal struggles of their own, netting just nine in 17 games.
On paper, it sounds a kind fixture but Liverpool have already dropped points to those positioned two places below Burnley and two above, making this another ‘dangerous’ match.
But while there has been little to hang onto recently, this side is not one to ride a slump for an extended period of time and let’s hope this fixture can act as a turning point at what would then be the halfway stage of the season.
Three points please, Reds.Is Matip Available?
While the boss remained coy in saying “we have to make a decision,” Matip is expected to mark his return, which could then see Jordan Henderson move back into his natural midfield role.
An update on Naby Keita was not provided on Wednesday, but patience looks to be the Reds’ course of action as a series of setbacks continue to ensure he is unable to pick up any rhythm.
Diogo Jota remains absent and is “still a few weeks away,” while Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are on the long-term list and Kostas Tsimikas is back in the mix after his return to training prior to the Man United game.
For the visitors, meanwhile, defender Charlie Taylor has a chance of featuring having not played in 2021 to date but otherwise, they remain with few absentees.
Possible Burnley XI: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters; Brady, Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil; Barnes, WoodLast 5 Home to Burnley (All Competitions)
Drew 1-1 – January 2015 (Robertson; Rodriguez)
Won 4-2 – March 2019 (Firmino 2, Mane 2; Westwood, Gudmundsson)
Drew 1-1 – September 2017 (Salah; Arfield)
Won 2-1 – March 2017 (Wijnaldum, Can; Barnes)
Won 2-0 – March 2015 (Henderson, Sturridge)
It has not been the best of times in front of goal, as we all know, so much so that for the first time since 2005 the Reds have not scored in three games in a row.
And they will be desperate to avoid four successive league games without a goal, a run last recorded in the 1999/2000 season.
But, interestingly, the date this fixture falls on could be a good omen as not since 1911 have Liverpool not scored in a game played on January 21 from 21 games.
At this point, we will take any sign of the barren run ending and we have club statistician Ged Rea to thank for shining a light on it.Form
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Burnley – Last five results (all competitions)
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Klopp shared his “respect” for Burnley and Sean Dyche and the way in which they approach games:
“When you look at the goal difference, I think it’s nine-22, that means obviously they didn’t score a lot of goals but they don’t concede a lot as well.
“So that just shows us how tough the game will be, but it was always like this against Burnley: a proper fight, second-ball fight, defending the channel balls, defending the intensity – Burnley puts in a specific intensity – and all these kind of things.
“They play a specific way and I really respect that. They do it for years and Sean is always able to squeeze really good performances out of the squad, even when it’s not the biggest squad in the world.”TV & Liveblog Info
Chris Williams has you covered on This Is Anfield’s matchday liveblog, keeping you entertained with his usual bias take, starting from 7.15pm.
Liverpool are preparing for a big, albeit tough, game against Burnley – but we’ve also got a load of transfer news and build-up talk for you.Renegotiations not on the menu
A few recent reports have suggested that the likes of Salah, Fabinho or others might either be in line for new contracts, or else at least want one.
It isn’t happening right now, though.
Multiple reports today say that while reviews are ongoing, no terms have been outlayed to player and there aren’t plans to do so any time soon, as the pandemic continues to impact finances.
A large batch of first-team players have contracts due for renewal in the summer of 2023, including the captain, our centre-forward, our No. 10, our top scorer and our best centre-backs, both from the realms of “currently fit” and “in the world”.
Lots of planning to do, but nothing imminent.Origi on Leipzig’s loan list
Divock Origi‘s future remains subject to plenty of speculation, though the Bundesliga has largely taken centre stage when it comes to the rumours.
Aside from Wolves and Belgium in general, both links which have since been debunked, every club seems to have come from Germany’s top flight when linked with the striker – and he spent time there on loan, of course, earlier in his Reds career.
However, it’s a bit of a step-up this time from struggling Schalke: RB Leipzig are the contenders to land him, say Sport BILD.
They claim Julian Nagelsmann wants to add a forward to keep the momentum going in the title race and they could strike a “lightning deal” for a loan player, whatever that is. Presumably a half-season loan on short notice?!
Origi has played a sub role of late for Klopp, but it seems unlikely we’ll let him leave unless on a permanent deal.Build-up to Burnley
The Clarets are decent in defence. We cannot go a fourth league game without a goal!Quickfire LFC news
Contract negotiations 101: when club aren’t offering the megasalary you want, link yourself to Liverpool, Spurs and United.
Step right up, Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala.Tweet of the day
Trent’s crossing output for #LFC has dipped. We’re halfway, but his volume isn’t at 50% of last season’s. The locations have shifted too: It’s now roughly 1 in 7 from deep, whereas last season it was 1 in 4#AskVizAnything | @Twenty3sport https://t.co/1SmV8Pf2M5 pic.twitter.com/HX9dxwNqAJ
— Sam Tighe – Ranks FC Podcast (@stighefootball) January 20, 2021Worth watching tonight
Fulham vs United at 8.15 for the domestics. Leipzig vs Union at 7:30 for the fun footy.
FTFull Time AETAfter Extra Time LIVEThis is a live match. ETExtra Time HTHalf Time
Manchester United vs Liverpool. The FA Cup Fourth Round.
5:00pm, Sunday 24th January 2021.