Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp faced late drop out from starting XI for second match in row

Pep Lijnders gives Liverpool team news ahead of Norwich clash

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Jurgen Klopp has hinted James Milner was expected to start tonight for Liverpool at Norwich but the veteran was forced to withdraw from the game through illness. The experienced former England international was a late inclusion in last Saturday’s starting XI as Liverpool beat Crystal Palace 3-0 at Anfield in the Premier League.

Trent Alexander-Arnold was due to start the match before he felt unwell in the team hotel.

Klopp explained post-match that the right-back had told club staff that he didn’t “feel right” to start after breakfast on match day.

Milner stepped in to replace him and the 35-year-old turned in an excellent display to help nullify Wilfried Zaha.

Interestingly, Milner was forced to withdraw from the Liverpool squad for tonight’s Carabao Cup clash at Carrow Road after waking up with a cold.

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Youngster Conor Bradley was handed his first senior start in his place and ahead of the game Klopp admitted that Milner was due to feature.

“We had to make some changes, not all of them were planned,” he told Sky Sports.

“This morning James Milner woke up with a cold.”

Speaking ahead of the trip south to East Anglia, Liverpool’s assistant manager Pep Lijnders issued an update on Alexander-Arnold’s condition before admitting the clash comes too soon for him.

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“Let’s start with Trent. Our game basically started at 12 o’clock against Palace, he took responsibility to speak with the doctor,” he confirmed to the club’s website.

“It was not easy because these guys – it says a lot about our group anyway – they want to play everything, [even] if they feel a bit shaky or ill. But he took the responsibility.

“With speaking about Trent, I have to speak about Millie [Milner] immediately – it started with a James Milner lecture and it ended up he dominated the complete right flank. We wanted to solve the situation with Trent with experience but we got much more.

“So, really proud and really happy that we have these players who can fill in, in each moment in time, and do the things he did.

“That’s Trent, there are no symptoms – no COVID symptoms. We test regardless. He should be fine in a few days but Norwich comes too early.”

Liverpool are still awaiting to discover the diagnosis of Thiago Alcantara’s calf injury that was sustained at the weekend.

“Thiago, how the gaffer said after the game, it was a calf injury,” Lijnders addd. “I can’t say now how long it will take but definitely not tomorrow and not at the weekend.

“Let’s get the scan results back and we have a proper diagnosis. A shame as well because he was taking the game by the hand, he was a proper playmaker in my opinion. A shame that we miss him.”

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