Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp refuses to rule out striker Divock Origi for the Premier League trip to Chelsea this weekend but admitted that his appearance at Stamford Bridge would be unlikely.
The club’s official website liverpoolFC.com reported Klopp as saying that the 24-year-old is making good progress in his recovery from the ankle injury that forced him off against Newcastle last week, adding that the Reds will monitor his fitness ahead of the trip to London.
According to liverpoolfc.com, Origi is being given a chance of featuring in the matchday squad but faces a race against time to be available for selection, with Klopp saying: “I think it’s unlikely but why should I rule him out? But it’s unlikely.”
Origi came into the new season off the back of some crucial goals at the end of last campaign, including two against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals and the insurance goal in the final against Tottenham.
However, he has continued to struggle for regular gametime, playing just 223 minutes in seven games so far this season prior to his injury against Newcastle last week.
Having started both the Community Shield against Manchester City and the Premier League opener against Norwich (in which he scored) in early August, the Belgium forward has played just 70 minutes since then, with only one shot recorded in that time.
With or without Origi, Liverpool are still strong favourites in the online betting markets for the three points. However, if Origi isn’t fit enough to take his place in the squad for the Chelsea game, that could open the door to Rhian Brewster to come into the reckoning.
The 19-year-old scored four goals in pre-season for Liverpool’s first team but has not featured for them in competitive action, a place on the bench in the UEFA Super Cup the closest he has come to getting a game. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
He has scored twice so far for the under-23 side this season, with goals against Southampton and Manchester City in August, and while he hasn’t featured much in recent games for them, that could be with an eye to potential first team squad inclusion.
As noted by liverpoolfc.com, he had just 15 minutes against Derby last week before being substituted as a precaution for first team duty, while he did not feature for the Reds’ under-23s in last night’s draw against Leicester.
Although Klopp has refused to close the door on Origi making it back for the Chelsea game, his ankle injury has nonetheless presented an opportunity to include Brewster in the first team squad.
The teenager’s omission from the under-23 squad against Leicester would be in vain if he didn’t at least make the squad for the visit to Stamford Bridge, so perhaps it is best for Origi to be given as much time as possible to recover fully and let Brewster make the bench for this weekend.
Liverpool fans, do you think Brewster should be included in the squad for the Chelsea game even if Origi is fit enough to feature? Comment below with your views!
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