James Milner
Milner to miss the Watford trip. Getty

Liverpool will be without James Milner for the club's Premier League trip to Watford but have received some welcome news over the fitness of Dejan Lovren.

Jurgen Klopp's side missed the opportunity to close the gap on the top four when they were held to a 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion on Saturday 12 December. Just five points separate ninth place Liverpool and fourth placed Manchester United.

If the club are to reduce that deficit on Sunday at Vicarage Road, however, they will have to do so without their captain. "James Milner has a problem with his calf. It will take a few days. He had a scan," Klopp told a press conference on Friday, the Liverpool Echo report.

"He felt something when he was warming up. I don't know how long Milner will be out for but he won't be fit for the weekend game."

The former Borussia Dortmund manager did have some more positive news however on Lovren. The Croatia international suffered a knee injury in the closing stages of the 2-2 draw with West Brom with his immediate reaction suggesting it was a bad one.

Initial reports suggested the defender had suffered a severe knee ligament injury that could rule him out for months. Those fears were allayed on Tuesday when the Croatian FA announced he could return within three weeks after consulting Liverpool doctors but Klopp now hopes to have him back in time for the Boxing Day match with Leicester City.

"It is not that serious," Klopp continued. "He is much better. We will see if he can train next week. He could be an option for Leicester."

The Reds manager also confirmed further boosts with both Mamadou Sakho and Jon Flanagan returning to training this week. Sakho was forced off after 40 minutes in the defeat to Crystal Palace on 8 November. Flanagan meanwhile has been tormented by injuries, missing the entire 2014-15 season, undergoing knee surgery twice.