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Liverpool suffer Covid outbreak before Brighton

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has suffered another setback in his attempt to chase down Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table, after a virus outbreak at the club was confirmed.

What’s the latest?

Thiago Alcantara, Ibrahima Konate and Virgil Van Dijk were all missing from training sessions this week at Melwood after knocking out Inter Milan in the Champions League Round of 16 on Tuesday.

Fans previously were worried that the trio had all picked up injuries, but Klopp hinted in his pre-match press conference that they instead had tested positive for the virus.

Will Liverpool miss Van Dijk this afternoon against Brighton?

Yes, he is one of the best!

Yes, he is one of the best!

No, others can step up!

No, others can step up!

“We had a few little things but so far nobody is out of training,” said the German manager. “On top of that, the virus is not over.

“These kind of things we have as well. Or had, we will see. We try everything to avoid this but it’s not really possible.

“Players and staff who have had it now with no symptoms. That’s good but they can’t be involved. We will see. They come later today.”

There is no confirmation on which players that have contracted it, but with no further injuries reported, it seems quite likely that the trio are among those who have.

Huge blow to lose Van Dijk

If Van Dijk is one of the players that has tested positive, it will be a huge blow to the Reds for lunchtime’s clash, with the Dutchman once again having a world class season at the heart of defence.

Averaging a 7.28 match rating in the Premier League, just Chelsea veteran Thiago Silva (7.42) is averaging higher among centre-backs in the league.

Among centre-backs in the top five leagues in Europe and the continental competitions, Van Dijk ranks in the top 2% for ball recoveries per 90 (12.33) and in the top 3% for percentage of aerials per 90 won (76.4%).

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It’s also rare that he gives away a free-kick or penalty, ranking in the top 1% for least fouls committed per 90, with just 0.27.

He is crucial in ensuring that the Reds retain control of the game, defending on the front-foot and dominating the opposition – and against a team that creates on average 1.30 chances per game, Liverpool will need to make sure that they are switched on in his absence.

In other news: Klopp suffers rare LFC howler over 15-goal gem, his value’s soared 131% since leaving

Article title: Liverpool suffer Covid outbreak before Brighton

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