Liverpool trained ahead of the Champions League second leg against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu. This is what we learned from Kirkby’s open session.
Liverpool faces an almighty challenge to have any chance of making it into the draw for the quarter-finals of the Champions League after losing 5-2 at Anfield against Real Madrid last month in the first leg.
Away goals might no longer count, but even so, a three-goal deficit would be almost impossible to climb back from even with the backing of a home crowd. Liverpool, set to travel to the Santiago Bernabéu, cannot even count on that.
Real Madrid achieved many miraculous results last season en route to beating Liverpool in the final in Paris, but this time it has a healthy lead to hold onto — it is, instead, the Reds who are needing to chase.
There is nothing to lose, though, and Liverpool can head to Spain knowing that they can give everything, without another game until they travel to Manchester City after the international break.
This is what Liverpool.com spotted as the Reds trained at the AXA Training Centre ahead of flying to Madrid later today, with Jürgen Klopp’s press conference to take place this evening at 7pm UK time, when a Liverpool player will also join him in addressing the media.
Luis Díaz spotted
Luis Díaz is not training with his teammates just yet (though that could come later this week, and should do over the international break) but the Colombian winger was seen out on the grass on his own before the rest of the group came out.
As the Liverpool goalkeepers emerged for the session, Díaz headed inside. Having him back available again will be a big boost, even if he will not return at full sharpness straight away.
Joe Gomez returns
Having been injured in the first leg against Real Madrid, defender Joe Gomez was spotted back with his teammates again as he took part in the session.
This is the first time that he has been seen since then, and he could be a part of the matchday squad for the Champions League clash. He will almost certainly not start, however, with Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konaté the number one pairing.
None of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Curtis Jones or Naby Keïta was in the matchday squad for the defeat to Bournemouth last weekend, but all were present here.
Arthur Melo, who was on the bench in the Premier League, trained with his teammates but is not in Liverpool’s European squad so cannot feature against Real Madrid.
The only players who appeared to be missing were captain Jordan Henderson, who was suffering from a cold and therefore didn’t start at Bournemouth, and teenage midfielder Stefan Bajčetić.
They, though, could still be available for Wednesday night (they might just have been doing a slightly different session away from the cameras) and Klopp will likely give an update on both during his press conference.
Ben Doak and Bobby Clark were among the talented youngsters often seen in Liverpool training who were not present in this session — and that is because they are about to kick off in the UEFA Youth League (U19 level) against Sporting CP.
The young Reds could reach the semi-finals of that competition for the first time should they win, having been knocked out by Juventus at the quarter-final stage last season.