Christian Benteke will be assessed over the next 24 hours to determine whether or not he will be available to feature for Liverpool during their latest Merseyside derby fixture against rivals Everton. Brendan Rodgers' side make the short trip to Goodison Park on 4 October with their manager under increasing pressure following a miserable run of form, culminating in a disappointing 1-1 draw with Swiss mid-tablers FC Sion in the Europa League.
Benteke, a £32.5m ($46.2m) summer arrival from Aston Villa, has scored twice since joining the club but missed the aforementioned Group B tie as well as the top-flight draw with Norwich and the unconvincing Capital One Cup victory over fourth-tier Carlisle with a hamstring problem. The initial prognosis suggested that such an injury was likely keep him out of action for at least a fortnight, although a return could now come earlier than expected.
"There's no real change [to our squad]," Rodgers was quoted as saying by the official Liverpool website at his weekly pre-match press conference. "We obviously had one or two knocks last night. We're seeing how Christian Benteke is over the course of the next 24 hours. Apart from that, the squad will be pretty much the same as the Aston Villa game."
Daniel Sturridge returned from a six-month injury layoff against Norwich and scored his first goals of the 2015/16 season with a handsome brace against Villa last time out. The striker, who was not included in Roy Hodgson's latest England squad for the final two Euro 2016 qualifiers against Estonia and Lithuania, was rested for the visit of Sion as he works his way back to full fitness but Rodgers confirmed he is fit and ready to face Everton.
"It's just about managing Daniel's fitness," he added. "He's been out for a real long time, he's come back early through the work and the effort he's put in and with so many games, we just have to make sure we look after him. He's still looking to get to full match fitness. There'll come a point where he will be available to play in all of the games, or certainly be available for them. He's fresh and fit and looking forward to the game this weekend."
With Liverpool having found convincing victories desperately hard to come by of late, dissenting voices against Rodgers' reign and his perceived lack of nous in the transfer market have become noticeably louder. Former Borussia Dortmund stalwart Jurgen Klopp and three-time Champions League winner Carlo Ancelotti are two high-profile and available managers to have already been linked with the job at Anfield, but the current incumbent insists he is not searching for any immediate guarantees over his future.
"It's not something I look for or something I'm worried about. I'm not looking or seeking any reassurances. I love the club and enjoy being here. It's a long season. It's still very early and we're making progress as we go along. We have some outstanding players to come back in. Once we get them fit and ready we know we have a squad to challenge."