Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp relieved to have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back in contention

Midfielder was injured in pre-season training but is finally nearing full fitness

Liverpool's latest homegrown defensive stars

Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp has said he is happy to have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back in the fold, with the midfielder having finally recovered from a knee injury sustained in pre-season training.

Goalkeeper Alisson Becker, who has been absent for the last three games due to a thigh issue, has also returned to training and is expected to start against Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday.

But the return of Oxlade-Chamberlain is of the greatest significance to Klopp, who expressed relief at seeing the 27-year-old fit again and providing another option in midfield, where Thiago, James Milner and Xherdan Shaqiri are all currently out.

“It’s long, eh? Unbelievable,” Klopp said. “I still remember the situation in training, a normal challenge – one gets up, the other not.

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“It’s been a tough time for him, but the sun shines for him already for a month or two since he has been doing all the necessary stuff in rehab.

“He is on the pitch with the ball, with the team and it is great for him and great for us.

“We will not rush it, but when he is long enough in normal team training then of course he becomes an option immediately and that’s good. Absolutely good.”

Alisson’s return is also a positive, although deputy Caoimhin Kelleher has performed admirably in his absence with two clean sheets on his European and Champions League debuts – with the only goal he conceded being a penalty against Midtjylland in midweek.

“Ali will train today, that’s what I’ve heard and if he trains and all fine, then he can play.”

But there always seems to be a flip side for Liverpool this season and Klopp has doubts over Kostas Tsimikas (knee) and Diogo Jota (knock).

Tsimikas’ absence at the weekend is unlikely to make much of a difference as Andy Robertson will return, having been rested for the first hour of Wednesday’s Champions League tie in Denmark.

Not having Jota, however, would be more of a concern with Premier League leaders Tottenham due to visit Anfield on Wednesday, although that still allows Klopp to field his previously well-established front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

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PA

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