Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana should be ready to face Crystal Palace at Anfield on 8 November, after both players confirmed their fitness prior to Thursday's Europa League tie against Rubin Kazan. The midfield duo each started the impressive 3-1 victory over Chelsea last weekend, with Coutinho in particular impressing his new manager with goals either side of half-time.
He was left on the bench for the 1-0 win in Tatarstan five days later, due to a minor hamstring issue, however, with England international Lallana restricted to a late cameo appearance due to similar injury concerns. Fortunately, Klopp has no fresh worries about the pair for the visit of Alan Pardew's Palace as Liverpool seek to prolong their unbeaten run of eight matches in all competitions.
"Coutinho is OK," he said at his latest pre-match press conference as relayed by Liverpool's official website. "He told me he was OK on Thursday too. The same with Adam [Lallana], who played some minutes [in Kazan]."
Liverpool will once again be without the services of captain Jordan Henderson as he continues to recover from a broken foot suffered in September, although Martin Skrtel and Lucas are likely to return. Klopp remained coy regarding the rest of his squad ahead of one final training session, adding: "We had some small, normal problems after the game. We will see who can train and then we will think about the starting line-up."
The strains of competing in the Europa League have been bemoaned by many top-flight managers over recent years, with the typical Thursday-Sunday schedule often blamed for a loss of domestic form. While Klopp could be forgiven for showing resentment at such an unforgiving schedule, the former Borussia Dortmund boss refuses to use it as any sort of an excuse.
"I don't believe that it's an issue," he said. "It's about how you feel. Of course, it's better if you don't play midweek, but it's only an advantage for Palace if we are not prepared to fight. If we wait for an easy game against Palace then we have no chance. But if we fight and try to find solutions, we can do it. We are fit, we are healthy, young, and we can do it. I heard old stories from (Dortmund sporting director) Michael Zorc, who told me that sometimes after a midweek game, the first half is difficult, but then the second half is easier. It's like a long warm-up, but it's only if the players are calm and focused.
"We can make changes, we played without Martin, Lucas, Phil, Adam, so we have other players who can play. I have to see the training, go with my feeling, and make my decision."