Liverpool have received a major boost ahead of their trip to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea after Jurgen Klopp admitted that Christian Benteke could be available after the Belgian missed their midweek 1-0 win over Bournemouth in the Capital One Cup. The Reds are facing a major injury crisis with Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings also out with knee injuries leaving the manager with just Divock Origi as his sole striking option. The former is not expected to feature this season after damaging his cruciate ligaments during a training session ahead of the German manager's first game in-charge against Tottenham Hotspur.
The Belgian striker only recently returned to first-team action after recovering from a hamstring injury, and was making his second substitute appearance under Klopp, when he came on to score against Southampton on Sunday (25 October). The former Aston Villa forward, however, suffered a knee ligament strain, which ruled him out of the clash against Bournemouth. The former Borussia Dortmund manager, though, is relatively confident that Benteke will be fit for their crucial clash against the Premier League champions.
"I think Christian will be fit on Saturday. He had little problems and with our 'striker situation' we can't take a risk. Divock played again [tonight] and he did well – he worked really hard. But I think Christian will be back," Klopp is quoted as saying by the Mirror.
The Merseyside club's injury woes, however, continue to worsen after Kolo Toure limped off with a suspected hamstring injury during the clash against the Cherries on Wednesday. The manager is waiting to hear from is medical staff regarding the extent of the knock.
Sturridge, meanwhile, is also struggling to regain full fitness, with the manager admitting that it will depend on the player and the training he needs to build back the strength to compete at his optimum level in the Premier League on a weekly basis. Klopp is unclear as to the extent of the injury, therefore unable to put a timeframe with regards to his possible return to first-team action.
"Kolo I think was a hamstring, but I am not sure because I only saw him sitting and so we have to wait for the diagnosis," he added. "With Daniel, we have to talk about him when he can train and then he will need, I don't know, two, three, four, five, six or seven days training. That is normal. Each footballer needs it and it's not important how good you are unless you have enough strength to play in this really intensive league," the former Dortmund manager explained. There is no pressure from me – I can't put pressure on him or the doctor or the physiotherapist, I have to wait. And when he is back, he has to train."