Jurgen Klopp has been sweating over the fitness of Curtis Jones over the last week and in a period where Liverpool have been dealt a fitness blow to Thiago Alcantara, it was crucial that the academy graduate was fit.
Naby Keita scored against Atletico Madrid in midweek but his performance was ultimately poor, being dragged off at half-time in a display that rather summed up his topsy-turvy Anfield career.
Fortunately, it looks as though Jones will be back in the squad after missing the game with Diego Simeone’s side in midweek.
That’s according to Klopp who was speaking in his pre-match press conference a few days before their clash with Manchester United.
In quotes supplied by The Athletic, the German boss said:
“Curtis will train today [Friday]. He should be in contention for Sunday.”
Considering his performances this term, this will come as a huge boost to Liverpool’s chances on Sunday afternoon. Given Thiago’s injury, it will also be a return that delights the Reds’ head coach.
The 20-year-old initially aggravated a problem while playing for England U21s which after really coming into his own over the last few months, represented a cruel blow.
He starred against Porto in the Champions League before the break, supplying two goals. The youngster was also in vibrant form against Manchester City, proving he has what it takes to stand out in the biggest of games.
Those attributes will be crucial if he plays on Sunday, especially against a midfield containing the likes of Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes.
Keeping that in mind, Klopp will no doubt be over the moon that one of his most promising players is back fit and ready to go again.
Liverpool have been in imperious form of late and another win over one of their biggest rivals will no doubt send a huge statement out. If they do come away with all three points then it’s likely that Jones will have played a key role.