Liverpool plan for pair to make next steps outlined after ‘very important’ claim

Joel Matip and Naby Keita made their returns from injury in Liverpool’s loss to Lyon in the Dubai Super Cup.

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Joel Matip and Naby Keita are both set to step up their respective injury returns when Liverpool face AC Milan on Friday.

The Reds pair both came back from the sidelines in Sunday's 3-1 loss to Lyon in the Dubai Super Cup.

Matip made his first appearance for three months, having been troubled with a calf issue. The centre-back featured in the opening 45 minutes. And Keita, who hadn't played since the Community Shield defeat of Manchester City in July, was handed a 30-minute outing off the bench in the second period.

Klopp will want to bolster his options when the 2022-23 season recommences as Liverpool aim the light the touchpaper to their campaign. The Reds sit a disappointing sixth in the Premier League table and keeping the pair fit will be important.

When Klopp's men face Milan in three days' time, Matip and Keita look set for more precious minutes.

On Matip's return, Klopp said: “Very important, absolutely very important. Yeah, so far he did pretty much everything in training. There was one session where we got advice to rest him a little bit, but it was not from him, it was from the medical department, [so] that's what we did.

“Apart from that he could do everything. Looked good today, 45 minutes was again what we were allowed to use him. That's what we did. That's good.”

Klopp continued: "Naby's first 30 minutes, I think, for a while. Very helpful as well, important position, important player, so that was [what] we should only use him [for], 30 minutes. I think against AC Milan next Friday they are probably able to play a bit longer.