Liverpool injury update on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Thiago, Origi and Harvey Elliott ahead of Arsenal

The key talking points from Pep Lijnders’ press conference ahead of Liverpool’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Arsenal.

Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has been speaking to the media ahead of Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

The tie is finely poised after a goalless draw at Anfield last week.

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Here are the key talking points from Lijnders’ press conference.

Oxlade-Chamberlain latest

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored his first Premier League goal in eight months in Liverpool’s 3-0 defeat of Brentford on Sunday.

However, the midfielder cruelly limped off just five minutes later after rolling his ankle.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain receives treatment in Liverpool’s victory over Brentford. Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Oxlade-Chamberlain has been ruled out of the clash against his former club Arsenal - but could be fit for the trip to Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Lijnders said: “If we discuss Ox, we should discuss his outstanding performance first of all.

“He was very important for us and the team. He played in so many positions and with a lot of quality.

“I spoke yesterday with him. He felt OK, he’s not that bad and is hoping to make the weekend but tomorrow will be way too soon.

“We assess that day by day.”

Injury news

Liverpool have had a few injury problems of late.

Thiago Alcantara remains sidelined with a hip injury, having not played for more than a month after also contracting Covid-19.

Jurgen Klopp confirmed Divock Origi is back running outside last week but the game may come too soon for him.

Lijnders said both won’t be back until after the international break

He said: “Thiago will be back in team training hopefully after the international break to prepare for the Cardiff game.

“Divock will be only after Cardiff.

“Yesterday, we gave a second recovery day. We want to keep the players hungry and recovering emotionally.

“They look fresh and they are hungry. They know what’s at stake. It’s January and the best thing is you can talk and reach finals. That’s what we want - to fight for prizes and for cups.”

Potential Elliott return date

Harvey Elliott during Liverpool training. Picture: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Harvey Elliott has returned to full training having been absent for more than four months with a fractured ankle.

Lijnders insists Liverpool are going to be cautious when the midfield starlet might make a playing return.

The Dutchman said: “He didn’t lose his football brain while he was off.

“Some players don’t knock on the door, they run through it and Harvey is a player like that in each session.

“Harvey is coming back from a long-term injury and we need to take our time. The most important thing is he gets match fit and prepares himself well. It’s great to have him back and you saw at the start of the season how he influenced our team.

“We’re really pleased he’s back with us. We like the players who always search for the last pass and he influences our game a lot.”

Nat Phillips could be involved having recovered from a fractured cheekbone.

Goalkeeping conundrum

Alisson played in his first League Cup game in last week’s draw with Arsenal since arriving from Roma in 2018.

Caoimhin Kelleher is the usual keeper in the competition and Lijnders stayed tight-lipped about who will be in between the posts for the latest encounter with the Gunners.

He said: “It’s good that we have three really good goalkeepers. Adrian, Caoimhin has all the characteristics we want from a Liverpool goalkeeper.

“He’s calm, can play, amazing shot-stopper, has the personality to not be involved for 60 minutes then make a crucial save.

“A lot of time our game is to play with a lot of space in front of them.

“Then we have Ali, who is everything you want and, for me, is the best goalkeeper in the world.

“We’re really happy with all three and let’s see tomorrow who is going to start but I’m sure all three would do well.”