Thiago Alcantara is still suffering from the knee injury sustained against Everton and is a "few weeks" from returning for Liverpool, manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed.

The Spain international has not featured for the Reds since the 2-2 draw in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on October 17.

Thiago has only played twice for Liverpool since arriving from Bayern Munich in a deal that could reportedly cost up to £25million.

Still, his performances against Everton and Chelsea highlight the impact of his absence. Thiago has attempted (107) and completed (98) more passes per 90 minutes than any other Liverpool midfielder this season.

Significantly, the former Barcelona man attempted 21 passes into the attacking third on average in those two games, at least eight more than any other Reds midfielder in 2020-21.

Liverpool enjoyed a five-game winning streak in all competitions after the draw with the Toffees, but Klopp's side have since won only once in four matches, a run that includes a 2-0 home defeat to Atalanta in their previous Champions League match.

They therefore head into Tuesday's game with Ajax knowing they require a draw to guarantee their place in the last 16 before matchday six.

While captain Jordan Henderson is fit to start, James Milner (hamstring) is set to miss out and Thiago will certainly not be involved.

 "Thiago we have to maybe clarify it a little bit," Klopp told reporters on Monday.

"On that day when Thiago got injured in that challenge in the Everton game, there was another bad injury [to Virgil van Dijk] and after the scans it was like one was really bad news and the other one was really good news because nothing was broken, nothing was ruptured and stuff like this.

"But, as we realise now, it was still a massive impact on the knee. The problem is in a situation like that, nothing is ruptured and nothing is broken and that means everybody thinks, 'Okay, you can go after a few days', but the impact on the leg was that big that it is still not okay.

"It is not massive and he trains from time to time, not in the moment because we just have to realise that we have to go a few further steps. I can't say exactly when he will be fine, but it will take a few weeks still with Thiago."

Klopp was involved in a heated exchange with BT Sport reporter Des Kelly after Saturday's 1-1 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion, offering the broadcaster "congratulations" after Milner's injury.

The Liverpool boss has spoken often of the risk to players' welfare during the packed 2020-21 schedule, which has seen his side play three times in seven days since the international break.

Speaking to, Klopp reiterated his concern about the mental and physical state of players attempting to be at their best every three days.

"For the players, it's incredibly intense what we are doing," he said. "We're all happy and it's without any alternative that we play. It's great – love it, fantastic – but it's all on the backs of the players.

"They have to deliver. You watch the game and if they don't play well, you still think: 'That's not really good!' You don't think about what they go through in the week, because we all have normal lives, obviously, left and right of the games we play.

"And that's pretty much the same for all of us, where you cannot see friends, you cannot see your family, and all these things. Recovery is not only sleep, it's not only treatment. It's really giving yourself a bit of freedom to think about things you want to think about and not what you have to think about.

"In the world out there at the moment, the biggest problem is that we don't have this time often enough and it keeps us quite tense. That doesn't help if then you have a game to play every three days at 110 per cent, in the best way."

James Milner claimed to be "falling out of love with the game" after more VAR controversy in Liverpool's 1-1 Premier League draw with Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday. 

Diogo Jota's 60th-minute strike appeared to be sending the visitors three points clear at the top of the Premier League but VAR, which had earlier disallowed goals for Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, intervened in stoppage time. 

Andy Robertson swung out a foot and clipped Danny Welbeck in the penalty area, and though referee Stuart Attwell did not spot the infringement initially, he changed his mind after viewing the pitch-side monitor.

Pascal Gross slammed home from the spot to seal a point for the Seagulls and extend the Reds' winless run on the road in the top flight to four games.

Milner, who went off with a hamstring injury with 16 minutes remaining, was furious with the decision and took to Twitter to express his frustration with a sardonic reference to the "clear and obvious" error protocol to which VAR supposedly adheres. 

"It's 'clear and obvious' we need a serious discussion about VAR," he wrote. "Sure I'm not alone in feeling like they are falling out of love with the game in its current state."

While Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said "the decisions were correct," Jordan Henderson claimed Welbeck conceded the late spot-kick should not have been given.

"Danny Welbeck said to me it wasn't a penalty,” he told BT Sport. “There were four or five [Brighton players] who felt it wasn't a penalty.

"To overturn it, it has to be clear and obvious. Is that a clear and obvious penalty, to go to the screen and overturn it?"

Liverpool, who are a point clear at the top of the league after playing a game more than Tottenham in second, host Ajax in the Champions League on Tuesday before Wolves visit Anfield in the Premier League on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp was overjoyed by the performance and emphatic result in Sunday's 3-0 win over Leicester City, surmising that his team was "on fire".

Liverpool's problems have been well-documented this season and they only got worse during the international break, as Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah became the latest to join the lengthy absentee list due to injuries and illness.

They were expected to at least be put under pressure by Leicester City on Sunday, with the Reds fielding a makeshift back four and the Foxes having won all four of their previous away games in the Premier League this term.

But in reality Liverpool were utterly dominant and cruised to a straightforward win that not only took them level with leaders Tottenham on 20 points, but set a new record of 64 unbeaten top-flight matches at Anfield.

Jonny Evans' own goal was added to by Diogo Jota – who became the first Liverpool player ever to score in each of his first four Anfield league games – and Roberto Firmino rounded the win off late on, leaving Klopp thrilled.

He told Sky Sports: "We deserved it, 100 per cent.

"The boys played an incredible game against a top, top, top opponent and playing them like we played tonight, I don't take things like this for granted to be honest.

"The boys were really on fire football-wise. They played and played and played. Obviously Leicester defends in a specific way, Jamie Vardy was much deeper than last season, so it makes it even more tricky.

"The front line defended really well and offensively we were incredible, we should have scored more goals. That is a top sign for a big game."

One of the Liverpool players featuring out of position in the defence was James Milner, who filled in at right-back with Trent Alexander-Arnold out until December.

The experienced midfielder has become known for his reliability and versatility in recent years, and it was his performance that pleased Klopp most.

"We scored three goals and didn't concede one, we defended exceptionally well, controlled the game," he told BBC Sport.

"There were a lot of good things, I can't pick one that pleased me most - maybe the performance of James Milner at right back. He played an exceptional game, first there and then in midfield.

"That is what we expect from ourselves. Injuries were a massive shock in that moment but the boys have to offer solutions."

James Milner is "devastated" by Joe Gomez's latest injury lay-off but is confident his Liverpool team-mate will return even stronger.

Gomez sustained a knee injury during a training session with England last week and will miss "a significant part" of 2020-21 after undergoing surgery.

The 23-year-old recovered from a long-term anterior cruciate ligament injury during his first season at Anfield and also bounced back from a broken leg in 2018.

Fellow centre-back Virgil van Dijk is out for the rest of the season, meanwhile, and makeshift defender Fabinho has also recently had a spell on the sidelines.

From the 52 matches Gomez and Van Dijk have played in together, Liverpool's win percentage is 76.9, compared to 74.5 from the 47 in which one or both has not been present.

Despite Gomez's untimely setback, Milner believes the former Charlton Athletic man has the right mindset to fully recover and pick up from where he left off once he returns.

"We've spoken about Virg a lot, Joe is exactly the same. I'm devastated for him," he told Premier League Productions.

"He's an amazing guy, first and foremost and most importantly, and you don’t want to see it happen to anyone but [especially not] someone like him. 

"As a player, how good he is as well. People forget how young he is and what he's done at this club already and how much he has improved and continues to improve.

"He's still really young. He's been through this once before with a bad injury and came through it stronger, so if anybody has got the mental fortitude to deal with this, it's him. 

"He has been through it before and he came back stronger, and I'm sure that will be the case again.

"Obviously we're gutted for him and how well he's been playing as well. Not only for him as a player and a person, but also for us as a team it's obviously a big miss.

"But, like I say, he's mentally very strong and he'll get through it and come back stronger. We're obviously all here with him and supporting him as much as we can."

Jurgen Klopp faces a selection headache at the back for Liverpool's Premier League clash against high-flying Leicester City with a dearth of fit and available senior centre-backs.

Joel Matip looks certain to start Sunday's match, with Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams contenders to play alongside the 29-year-old in the heart of defence.

Phillips impressed on his league debut against West Ham last month, his nine clearances being six more than next best Gomez, while no Liverpool player managed more interceptions (2).

Fabinho is another option after returning to training this week following three weeks out and Milner is adamant his side have enough quality to cope without key players.

"We're blessed to have a lot of good players in the squad, there's always competition for places," he said. 

"The guys who have stepped into the team in recent weeks, at centre-half and any position, have done very well. Rhys and Nat as well. There's options there. 

"Fabinho has done very well when he has played. That's what you have to do as a squad – you have to make changes and adapt to new formations and new positions. 

"We're fortunate to have a lot of good players in the squad and players who can adapt to different positions and deal with that.

"We're lucky to have those options, and I'm sure the manager will work out the best way we’re going to go and go from there."

Jurgen Klopp said he could use a Javier Mascherano-type solution amid Liverpool's injury crisis in the centre of defence.

With Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip sidelined, Liverpool were dealt another blow on Tuesday, when Fabinho – playing at centre-back instead of midfield – hurt his hamstring against Midtjylland in the Champions League.

Joe Gomez is the only senior centre-back available for Saturday's clash at home to West Ham, while Nathaniel Phillips, 23, Billy Koumetio, 17, and Rhys Williams, 19, are also options.

Klopp said he had expected Phillips, who was on loan at Stuttgart last season, to leave the club.

The Liverpool manager also said it was possible he could use Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner or Andy Robertson at centre-back, in a similar way to what Mascherano – initially a defensive midfielder – did during his career.

"I know Nat [Phillips] the longest so I was really happy with this development. Since I know him he made big, big steps and is an exceptional character," Klopp told reporters.

"I said it before that the little problem was that we were all convinced, how it looked all the time… there were a lot of clubs interested in him and in the end, maybe because of the coronavirus crisis, nobody had the money to do it but we expected him to leave the club, to be honest. Thank God he didn't, but that's the reason why he is not in the Champions League squad, the only reason.

"He cannot be on the bench in the Champions League but he is available for the Premier League like all three are and now I have to make a decision.

"And we have still, obviously, other options like Hendo or Gini or James – or Robbo can play centre-half as well. They are all not smaller than Mascherano, for example, and he played pretty well in that position.

"So yes, we have obviously still one or two options and one of them, we will choose. Which one, you have to switch on the television tomorrow night."

Liverpool have collected 13 points from their opening six Premier League games of the season to sit second in the table.

James Milner admits leaving Liverpool could have been an option in Jurgen Klopp's first full season at the club after he was asked to play out of position. 

The 34-year-old left Manchester City in 2015 to play more regularly in centre midfield yet spent a lot of the 2016-17 campaign plying his trade at left-back. 

Milner's experience has aided Liverpool in the past few seasons and he signed a new deal in December that runs through to 2022. 

But the former England international could have pushed for a move away three years ago and says it took time to adapt to Klopp's demands on the training pitch. 

On moving to left-back, he told Sky Sports: "It was what the manager needed at the time. There's always going to be positions you prefer but you do what's needed for the team.

"I suppose at that point I could have turned around and said, 'No I don't want to do that, I want to leave'.

"He came to ask me to do it in pre-season and my mindset was, 'Okay, how can I be the best I can be in that position?' and I started to learn the role.  

"A few of the boys were a bit surprised when we set up at pre-season training the next day and I was at left-back, but that was part of the fun." 

Asked about Klopp's intense training sessions, Milner added: "We had to adapt to that - there were a lot of injuries early on. 

"People were saying, 'You can't do that!' You could, you just had to get used to it. Straight away you saw the tempo and the intensity in that first game at Spurs. 

"It was ridiculous really, it wasn't like we played at a slow tempo under Brendan [Rodgers]. That journey started then with the manager's methods and how he wanted us to play. 

"You saw it come in bit by bit. One week the quality would be there and the next week we would be miles off it. 

"That was a process again; the consistency started to come in and, eventually, learning how to win ugly and become a more rounded team."

Milner has been restricted to just eight league starts this term, however, and has recently been linked with a move back to boyhood club Leeds United.

The Yorkshire club are on course to earn promotion to the top flight after a 16-year absence and Milner has not ruled out returning at some stage in the future.

"You never know in football what's around the corner, but I just want to contribute and win as many trophies as I can for Liverpool and add to the great history here," he said.

"I'm biased, but I think the Premier League will be a better place for Leeds in it, and it will be weird to play against them next season."

Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool holding a 20-point lead over Manchester City is "pretty unthinkable" after watching Pep Guardiola's side thrash Burnley.

The reigning Premier League champions followed up a 3-0 win over Arsenal in the first game back following the coronavirus-enforced break to the season with another impressive display on Monday.

City scored five without reply to brush aside Burnley and, with Liverpool only able to manage a 0-0 draw in Sunday's Merseyside derby, the Reds' huge cushion at the summit has been reduced.

Klopp's side get the chance to respond on Wednesday when they host Crystal Palace at Anfield, with a first league title in 30 years within touching distance ahead of a trip to the Etihad Stadium on July 2.

"The only thing I realised from watching the game last night was how is it possible that anybody is 20 points ahead of this team? That's pretty much unthinkable, actually," Klopp told the media.

"So we must have done, obviously, a couple of things really well and right that we can have the situation here.  

"But, no, I don't think about City catching us, or whatever. I think about Crystal Palace. 

"I watched them because we play them in eight or nine days, and not watching them to hope that they lose – it was never like this.  

"Maybe I wanted them to lose last season against Leicester, but that didn't work very well so that's why I stopped doing that. That was one time and it didn't help. 

"I respect them a lot, I've said that plenty of times. They look like they will win all their remaining games because they are really strong, but they were always strong. 

"We are not so bad, so let's think about that."

Mohamed Salah – who was an unused substitute – and Andy Robertson were not involved in the stalemate at Goodison Park due to fitness concerns, though Klopp confirmed both could feature against Palace.

However, James Milner and Joel Matip are ruled out after the pair were forced off with injuries against Everton.

"[Salah] trained yesterday completely normal, he will train today completely normal I would guess and then he is available. What I make with the line-up, you have to wait until tomorrow," Klopp said on Tuesday.

"It is the same with Robbo; he trained yesterday completely normal as well, so it's the same.

"Millie and Joel will not be available for tomorrow. We have to figure out exactly how long it will take, but tomorrow they will not play."

Jurgen Klopp is hopeful the injuries suffered by James Milner and Joel Matip in Liverpool's stalemate with Everton are not serious.

In their first game back from the coronavirus-enforced break, Liverpool were held to a 0-0 draw in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on Sunday.

They are 23 points clear of Manchester City, who have a game in hand, atop the table, as they close in on a first league title since 1990.

However, Klopp has worries over Milner (hamstring) and Matip (toe) ahead of Wednesday's home clash against Crystal Palace.

"'Millie' felt a hamstring a little bit, but we had this in the past. 'Millie' is not often injured and hopefully it is not serious," the Liverpool manager told a news conference.

"He is smart enough to show up in the moment when he feels it, so hopefully it was the right moment. Maybe not Wednesday [against Palace], but after that I would hope for.

"Joel was unlucky and we had to make a quick decision. It was a situation with Richarlison and he bent or stretched his big toe.

"I don't think a lot of people have had that. It is really painful, but hopefully it settles, the pain settles and then we will see. I hope nothing serious has happened, but I don't know yet."

Roberto Firmino has gone "rogue" with his lockdown haircut, but James Milner can be proud of his "absolute worldie", according to Liverpool team-mate Andy Robertson.

Following a two-month hiatus owing to the coronavirus pandemic, Liverpool's players returned to their Melwood training base last week to take part in small group sessions.

The look of many of the Reds' players has dramatically altered since they were last in action, with barber shops across the United Kingdom forced to close during the lockdown.

Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane and Alisson Becker have each embraced a new look, but it is Firmino's longer locks that have taken Robertson most by surprise.

"There are a couple of questionable ones," he told Liverpool's official website. "Alisson's just keeps growing and growing – I don't know what state that is going to be in when we get back playing!

"Bobby's is interesting. Usually he's quite sharp but he's kind of let it go a wee bit rogue. Joe Gomez's is really bushy on top. Lallana just took the hit, didn't he?

"He just shaved it all off, so I think we've gotten used to Adz having no hair now. That's what happens, isn't it? You have to adapt to these situations – and unfortunately sometimes you have to put trust in people who don't have a clue what they're doing!

"That's what we've all done – some of us don't trust their household members [with it] as much as some of us have. But hopefully Bobby can get back to his fresh haircut soon."

Milner is another who has altered him image, but Robertson believes the veteran midfielder – unlike many of his other team-mates – can be pleased with his fresh trim.

"I think Mrs Milner has pulled off an absolute worldie with that one, to be honest," he said.

"I think it took him about five or six weeks to put his trust in her, but I think he should have done it beforehand, to be honest she’s done a good job.

"My missus had a go on mine; I told her not to touch the top, just to do the sides. She did an okay job - it's growing in a bit better, so I think I've gone under the radar a wee bit. I'm quite proud of her for that, to be honest!"

James Milner has revealed how his previous near misses with Liverpool made winning last season's Champions League final even more special.

The former England midfielder joined the Reds prior to the start of the 2015-16 season but had not secured a trophy during him time with club until the 2-0 European triumph over Tottenham in Madrid.

It was also a first honour on Merseyside for Jurgen Klopp, who had previously lost in finals of the EFL Cup, Europa League and Champions League, as well as finishing a point behind champions Manchester City at the end of the 2018-19 Premier League season. 

Appearing on Sky Sports during the coronavirus lockdown, Milner admitted it was "big to get over the line" and end the wait for silverware, considering Liverpool's storied history of success that is so evident at the club's facilities.

The 34-year-old feels beating Spurs last June was the catalyst to push on again in 2019-20, with Klopp's squad on the brink of securing the league title prior to the stoppage in play.

"I was desperate to get a trophy for this club. You walk into Melwood every day and you see the trophies the club has won every single day," Milner said.

"Obviously getting to the Champions League final the year before, going close in the Premier League, the Europa League final and the League Cup final, having those near misses obviously made it even more special when we got there.

"It's a massive thing playing for a club the size of Liverpool. You see the history and every day you see the players who have played, the players who have pulled on the number seven shirt before me.

"When you are playing at Anfield and you get a taste of that atmosphere and you're getting to finals and not quite getting over the line, to finally get over the line and contribute number six – which we know how massive that is for the club and how important it is, the relationship it has with the European Cup – it's always important to win that first one.

"We managed to get the Super Cup and the World Club Cup this year, and it would be nice to add more. But it was big to get over the line and win that first one together as a team. That gives you all the tools to go on and push on."

Liverpool hold a 25-point lead over nearest rivals City in the table, though it is unclear exactly when any action will resume in the top flight.

The Premier League remains committed to clearing the fixture backlog and finishing the season, with media reports suggesting there is a target to return on the weekend commencing June 13.

Liverpool responded to an early setback against Bournemouth to create top-flight history and vice-captain James Milner believes other teams would have crumbled when falling behind.

The Reds, who followed up their first Premier League loss of the season at Watford last weekend with FA Cup elimination against Chelsea in midweek, triumphed 2-1 at Anfield on Saturday to secure a record 22nd successive home win, surpassing the benchmark set by Bill Shankly's Liverpool side in 1972.

They had to come from behind to break the record, though, with referee Paul Tierney and VAR seeing nothing amiss with Callum Wilson's possible push on Joe Gomez before the Cherries striker tapped home the opener in the ninth minute.

Liverpool reacted positively and Mohamed Salah restored parity on his 100th Premier League outing for the club before Sadio Mane put them in front after 33 minutes.

Bournemouth never looked like getting back into the game, with Jurgen Klopp's men securing a win that leaves them potentially three wins away from a first title in 30 years.

"I don't think any Premier League game is not hard to win, it's a boring thing to say but it's true," Milner told BT Sport.

"Especially when you've had a couple of performances which weren't at our level. Again today we weren't at our best but many teams would've crumbled, a couple of poor results, plenty of things going on outside the ground, people saying this and that.

"Many teams might have crumbled at one down, but we didn't. We kept going, stayed calm and when you've got the boys up front, with how clinical they are you've always got a chance.

"It's special but we just want to keep producing performances and winning trophies and creating history for this club.

"The unbelievable teams that have been here since the start, to be up there with those and have a good run is special, but we want to just keep producing performances, hopefully winning trophies and creating history for this club."

In his sixth Premier League game against Bournemouth, Salah took his tally versus the Cherries to eight.

The Egypt international has 70 goals in the top flight for Liverpool and became their first player to score at least 20 in three consecutive seasons since Michael Owen, who did so from 2000-01 until 2002-03.

Asked about his record against Bournemouth, Salah said: "That's something good, I always love to score and help the team to get points.

"We showed our personality after 1-0 down, we had to react for that and I think we did well.

"We need to keep going for the next three games and the rest of the season."

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson was left out of the Premier League clash with Bournemouth on Saturday but will be fit to face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, manager Jurgen Klopp said.

The left-back, whose driving forward runs have been a major factor in the Reds' charge towards the domestic league title, was ruled out of the game at Anfield with a minor injury.

Klopp, though, was convinced the Scotland international will be part of his plans for Wednesday's second leg of the European last-16 tie against Atletico, who lead 1-0 from the first match in Spain.

Klopp told BT Sport: "He would have started today but then he felt [something] slightly. But it's all good, it will be fine for Wednesday. But not for today.

"So we didn't want to have him on the bench and see Robbo and think, 'Maybe we can bring you [on]'. It wouldn't make sense today. That's the reason and he will be fine."

The versatile James Milner stepped in at left-back for Robertson against Bournemouth.

Klopp said on Friday that Liverpool will be without first-choice goalkeeper Alisson for the Atletico match due to a hip injury.

Neil Critchley is convinced Tuesday's FA Cup triumph over Shrewsbury Town will not prove to be the defining moment of several Liverpool youngsters' Anfield careers.

Ro-Shaun Williams' calamitous own goal 15 minutes from time sealed Liverpool's progression to the fifth round of the FA Cup, despite manager Jurgen Klopp – who handed the reins to academy coach Critchley – having refused to field any first-team regulars.

However, Liverpool's youngsters were well worthy of their victory, which sets up a fifth-round clash with Chelsea in early March – a tie Klopp is sure to take charge of.

But Critchley, who also led a 5-0 EFL Cup defeat to Aston Villa while Liverpool's first team were in Qatar for the FIFA Club World Cup in December, insists the victory will not be what defines this batch of prospects.

"From the first whistle, the maturity the boys showed to play that game was remarkable. They calmed me on the sidelines. We're the deserved winners on the night," Critchley told a news conference.

"We don't want this to be a defining moment of their careers. We want this to be a taste to whet their appetites. They want more of it. It gives them the belief and confidence in the work they do on a daily basis that people don't see until a night like this.

"The boss was in touch this afternoon with some words of wisdom. I've not checked my phone yet but he's buzzing and we've given him a game against Chelsea.

"That was the message we gave the boys, play well tonight and they could get that chance and Chelsea away is a great game.

"We played like a Liverpool team and I am so proud of them. They've made a step forward. I was really pleased with how we stood up to the physicality of the game. We did things outstandingly well. It was much better than the Aston Villa game.

"Jurgen gives you clarity and belief. Play the Liverpool way! This is us, this is what we do, what we stand for, what we believe in and you better be ready for it. From the first minute, I think we did that."

While Liverpool's squad have been given time off over the Premier League's winter break, one senior figure who has remained at Melwood is James Milner, who was watching from the stands on Tuesday.

"James Milner trained with us yesterday and asked if he could come along," Critchley revealed. "He was very respectful to ask, he asked if he could come in the dressing room. Of course! He's achieved so much in the game.

"He was giving words of advice to the players, he was vocal in the dressing room. I can't thank him enough. He's not available yet but he was certainly jumping up and down behind me, itching to get back."

Jurgen Klopp expects to have Fabinho and Dejan Lovren back in full training next week but James Milner and Naby Keita are unavailable for Liverpool's trip to Tottenham.

Defensive midfielder Fabinho has been absent since the end of November after sustaining ankle ligament damage in the 1-1 Champions League draw against Napoli.

Centre-back Lovren was enjoying a run in the team but has been out for a month due to a muscular issue, with Joe Gomez having impressed alongside Virgil van Dijk at the back for the unbeaten Premier League leaders.

However, both players are closing on a return that could come as soon as next weekend's clash with fierce rivals Manchester United.

"Dejan and Fabinho we expect to be back next week in full training, if that's early enough for the United game we will see," Klopp said. 

"They're working really hard, going through the paces, it's good."

Midfield duo Milner and Keita will sit out the clash in north London on Saturday due to muscle injuries.

"James and Naby are unavailable. Both muscles, different, and for different people," Klopp added. 

"Not a timeframe on it. We are open whenever they want to join us, when the medical team gives us the green light. Not this week, or next week, then we will see."

Klopp comes up against a familiar foe this weekend in Jose Mourinho, with Liverpool's 3-1 triumph over United in December 2018 seeing the Portuguese sacked by the Red Devils.

Liverpool boss Klopp is expecting to face a well-drilled Tottenham side, who will have to do without prolific captain Harry Kane.

"I'm expecting a very organised Tottenham side, yes," he added. "Putting some emphasis on defending for sure, using the counter-attacks, but team is too good technically to do just that.

"[Christian] Eriksen, [Dele] Alli, [Giovani] Lo Celso, lots of midfielders who can create situations, the speed they have with Lucas [Moura] and Son [Heung-min] too. 

"It could be [Serge] Aurier and [Ryan] Sessegnon are on the wings on top of that with speed.

" We cannot be 100 per cent sure what they will do but we have signs from what Mourinho did at Man United against us. Different teams and players though. That is normal. Our analysis always ends quite a way from the truth. It is the same for us, we want to be unpredictable.

"Mourinho is a world-class manager with a specific mindset. He wants to win. I respect that a lot. Each situation his team is in he tries to use. That is how managers work."

Jurgen Klopp revealed James Milner suffered a muscular problem in Liverpool's 1-0 FA Cup win over Everton and described the injury as "a big, big blow" for the Reds.

Milner, one of five recognised senior players in the Liverpool starting XI, left the field after just nine minutes of the Merseyside derby, which was settled by Curtis Jones' superb second-half goal.

The injury will see Milner join Naby Keita, Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri in the Liverpool treatment room, and leaves Klopp short of cover for Andy Robertson at left-back.

Debutant Yasser Larouci replaced Milner, who appeared to be holding his hamstring, and Klopp praised the 19-year-old defender along with the other young charges who impressed against an experienced Everton side.

Klopp told BBC Sport: "Millie [went] off, which is a big, big blow for us I have to say and it doesn't look too good, a muscle injury.

"But then Yasser coming on and just filling the role.

"It was an incredible game for us decided by a sensational goal from a Scouser. I cannot wish for more.

"It's just a really wonderful night, apart from Millie. The plan was not to play Millie in the last game. The plan was to play Naby but then Millie had to play and today he started again and now that [injury] happened, but we cannot change it."

Nat Phillips and Takumi Minamino made their Liverpool debuts in a team that also featured Neco Williams, Pedro Chirivella, Harvey Elliott and Jones - a quartet of players under the age of 23.

Klopp felt the performance and the result justified the decision not to send any of those who featured out on loan, praising their determination to force their way into his first-team plans.

"You cannot perform like the boys performed today if you think to yourself you should not play in that team," said Klopp. "They have to think that they are ready.

"None of these kids are fine being sent back to the under-23s, but if they were out on loan somewhere that they would maybe play more they would not be here tonight and we would not have a team actually.

"It's already clear they are good enough. What you have to show is respecting our principles. Counter-press is not a proposal; it's the law. And they played brave football.

"Unbelievable performances tonight from the kids but from the adults as well."

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