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Liverpool’s visit to Leeds will be with Fabinho and Alisson Becker as common sense prevails

The first international break of the season is something every football fan dreads.

As soon as the season feels like it is getting going after three games it all stops for some international qualifiers which not many people realistically care about.

This time round it was an even bigger issue due to the complications around letting players leave the country, especially for the South and North American players in the league.

Lots of teams didn’t allow their players to travel including Liverpool with Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino staying in the UK.

Therefore, the countries wanted to implement the 5-day restriction meaning that several players would not have been allowed to play and it was a massive controversy as realistically it just did not make sense as the only people who would be suffering are the players.

However common sense did prevail in the end with Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Paraguay agreeing to waive the automatic five-day restriction.

So, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp does have Alisson Becker and Fabinho in his squad for the trip to Leeds United.

Roberto Firmino is injured though unfortunately for Liverpool so he will be unavailable.

There is no return date for the forward after he went off against Chelsea.

Takumi Minamino has been ruled out after getting a knock on international duty and James Milner is also a doubt.

Harvey Elliott, Naby Keita and Virgil Van Dijk will all be ready for selection after some concerns about their availability.

Klopp should have a relatively strong squad to pick from and he will have to pick carefully with the huge Champions League group game against AC Milan in the week.

That could mean that Ibrahim Konate gets his competitive debut for Liverpool against Leeds United of the centre backs are rotated.

Klopp did not give anything away in his press conference and instead he was rather complimentary about Leeds.

He said: “Everybody tells me atmosphere is outstanding so I’m really looking forward to it. We have people like Millie who can tell us. 

“But the game will be tricky anyway. They have a specific way of playing with man-marking idea and very flexible and brave in possession.”

There is no surprise that Klopp expects the games to be tricky as that is exactly what the two games against Leeds were last season.

The opening day game last season against Marcelo Bielsa’s side was a very tight and scary game which Liverpool just about won 4-3 at Anfield.

At Elland Road Liverpool again did struggle and the result was 1-1 so with a full crowd backing Leeds it will be that bit more difficult.

Daniel James looks set to make his debut for Leeds after joining from Manchester United so that will be a key battle with Trent Alexander-Arnold who was a hot topic in the press conference after Gareth Southgate played him in midfield for England.

“If you watch our games, Trent’s position already changed when possible. No need to make him a midfielder now. 

“A shame we talk about this in 2021, good players play everywhere, Trent plays right-wing, everywhere. He can play midfield. More a 6 than 8,” Klopp explained.

He then added: “But why would you make the best right-back in the world a midfielder?

“I struggle to understand how you can think that?”

Alexander-Arnold has been one of Liverpool’s standout players this season and for the past few years so it is understandable why the German is perplexed about Southgate’s management of the right-back.

He will be key this weekend for Liverpool in defence and attack with a game which has the potential to be another classic in the Premier League.

Liverpool will need to keep up the pace as they watch every other title contender play on the Saturday, so the pressure will be on.

But Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp normally thrive under pressure.

READ MORE: Liverpool season preview

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