Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez WILL be available for Norwich opener
Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez could START Liverpool’s season opener at Norwich after returning from nasty knee injuries, reveals Jurgen Klopp
- Liverpool face Norwich in their opening game of the Premier League season
- Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez will be available
- They have been recovering from long-term injuries that ruled them out last term
- But they both made their long-awaited returns against Hertha Berlin last month
- Van Dijk played 70 mins against Athletic Club and Gomez 60 against CA Osasuna
Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez will be available to start Liverpool’s opening game of the Premier League season at Norwich on Saturday.
The pair have been recovering from long-term knee injuries, with the Dutchman and his team-mate making their long-awaited returns against Hertha Berlin last month.
Despite the fact Van Dijk has only played 70 minutes against Athletic Club and Gomez has only managed an hour against CA Osasuna since, Klopp believes both players will be ready to start their league opener at Carrow Road if called upon.
Jurgen Klopp confirmed that Virgil van Dijk (above) will be available to start against Norwich
Klopp revealed that defender Joe Gomez is also ready to play Liverpool’s season opener
The German manager is confident that both players will be available for the fixture this weekend, but did caveat that no final decisions over their involvement had been made.
‘I think so, it looks like [they are available to start]. But how it is with these kind of things, we have nothing to rush in this department,’ Klopp told Liverpool’s official website.
‘We just have to make then a decision on who will start, who will come on, things like this and if I think they are ready for 90 minutes then they are ready to start.
‘If I think we have to take them off earlier then it makes no sense because centre half is not actually a position where you want to change during a game and so we will see.
However, he did caveat that no final decisions over their involvement had been made
‘But both look really good. An intense season is coming up. We will see how we decide that.’
Despite playing the majority of the game in second gear, Van Dijk showed the Liverpool boss what he had been missing by playing a 60-yard ball straight to the feet of Mohamed Salah.
The wonder-pass provided Liverpool with the attacking threat that they lacked during their disappointing 2020-2021 season.
Nevertheless, Klopp will be unlikely to risk playing Van Dijk for the opening game of the season if he is not 100 per cent fit.
The German manager – who selected two different teams for Liverpool’s friendlies against their Spanish opposition – has plenty of options to choose from for this weekend.
Klopp will be unlikely to risk Van Dijk for the opening game if he is not 100 per cent fit
Therefore, he could use Joel Matip in central defence – who has returned back to full fitness
Joel Matip has returned back to full fitness – having recovered from an ankle injury which saw him miss the end of last term – and is expected to feature alongside new boy Ibrahima Konate should Van Dijk and Co not be available.
Klopp referred to his selection issue as a ‘welcome problem’, saying: ‘It sends a good message actually: that’s the way we have to play, that’s the way you have to perform.
‘If you want to be in the team that’s actually the lowest level allowed and so that’s what we have to try now to figure out.
‘Yesterday [Tuesday] was a day off, today [Wednesday] and tomorrow [Thursday] sessions, and then Friday the [matchday] -1, so there are some decisions to make but these decisions are for one game, not for the season. So it’s not that much of a headache, to be honest.’
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