Liverpool injury update as midfield pair eye return vs Southampton after Carabao Cup blow

Liverpool injury update as midfield pair eye return vs Southampton after Carabao Cup blow

Liverpool hope to have Naby Keita and James Milner back for the weekend visit of Southampton.

Both players will miss Wednesday’s Carabao Cup game with Derby while suffering from thigh and concussion issues, respectively.

They join Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Arthur Melo and Joel Matip on the injury list after Pep Lijnders confirmed which Liverpool players are and are not in the running to return before the World Cup.

Jurgen Klopp’s assistant told the club website: “Naby will be difficult, he’s still training individually. Let’s see for Southampton.

“[Milner] will definitely be ready for Southampton but this game [against Derby] comes too early.

“Then we have of course Joel, who is getting closer to team training but will not make Southampton probably.

“The longer injuries, Luis Diaz is running for the first time on Thursday. That’s good news because we all know how important he was last year and in the second half of the season. And Jota will take longer.”

Liverpool are set to ring the changes for the game with League One Derby but Lijnders asserted that he does not lack for motivation in the cups.

He added: “We know this competition can lift [you] because you play a semi-final in January, you play a final in February or March, so it's a competition which you can use as a trampoline basically.

“But also to develop the team because you need finals, you need games where it is tough and knockout [football]. That's why I like the cup competitions the most.”