Henderson ready to lead Liverpool into Atletico clash but Alisson won’t return for derby


Jordan Henderson is ready to return to the Liverpool side after injury, Jurgen Klopp has confirmed, with the Reds skipper set to step back in for a crucial Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid.

The England international has been sidelined since the first leg of a heavyweight European encounter with La Liga foes.

His enforced absence coincided with a rare wobble for Liverpool, with defeats suffered across continental, Premier League and FA Cup competition.

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Klopp’s side did, however, get back to winning ways at home to Bournemouth last time out and will return to Anfield on Wednesday hoping to complete another stirring fightback.

Henderson’s presence should aid that cause, as the Reds seek to overturn a 1-0 deficit, but Adrian will have to fill in again between the sticks as Brazil international Alisson remains sidelined with a hip problem that will also keep him out of a derby date with Everton on Monday.

Klopp told reporters when offering a pre-Atletico fitness update: "Hendo is ready. Ali will not be [for the derby]."

As Henderson prepares to return to the fold, Andy Robertson is set to do likewise.

The Scotland international left-back has been nursing a niggling ankle complaint, while also tweaking a hamstring, but a welcome rest has him raring to go once more.

Andrew Robertson Liverpool 2019
Andrew Robertson Liverpool 2019

He said: “The ankle has felt good since the winter break. Obviously that week off helped.

“Friday I felt my hamstring. Obviously I thought I was fine but I missed out [against Bournemouth] as a precaution and Millie [James Milner] got man of the match!”

Klopp will be delighted to have key men at his disposal, with the German confident that Liverpool can overcome Atletico and prolong the defence of a Champions League crown they claimed in 2019.

The Reds boss said of a meeting with Diego Simeone’s side: “It's half-time for us.

“We use that normally in a critical way. Second half we learn from situations and improve. This time we had three weeks, not 15 minutes. We want to use that time. It is much clearer than before. Couple of advantages they had are now there for us.”

Klopp added on a first-leg reversal and the challenge facing his troops: “We had good situations, we played against a team that is the world's best at deep defending.

“Scored a goal, slightly lucky. That is how football is. 0-0 would have been brilliant but we still have to score. One of the biggest challenges in football.”

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