Darwin Nunez may face a late fitness test on his return to Liverpool this week ahead of Jurgen Klopp’s side facing off against Wolves on Saturday. Nunez was in action for Uruguay during the international break, playing in both matches against Chile and Ecuador.
The 24-year-old provided an assist in Uruguay’s hard-fought 3-1 win over Chile and was back in the starting line-up for the Ecuador match on Tuesday. However, Nunez was surprisingly brought off at half-time as Marcelo Bielsa rung the changes at the break.
The Uruguay manager suggested after the match that Nunez’s substitution was down to the player’s fitness levels. “Darwin arrived with some muscle problems and it limited his game,” Bielsa said.
“I thought it was necessary to replace him because he was overworked after the last match.” Nunez has featured in all four of Liverpool’s games to start the season, although his only start came in the 3-0 win over Aston Villa before the international break.
But the Uruguayan will now have to prove his fitness in the next few days when he returns to Merseyside. Liverpool take on Wolves in the early kick-off on Saturday and Klopp already has some big decisions to make on his team.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ibrahima Konate are both injury doubts for the game while Thiago Alcantara is not expected to be ready for his return yet. Virgil van Dijk is also unavailable after being handed a further one-match ban for his conduct after being sent off against Newcastle.
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It potentially leaves Klopp short of options in defence, while Nunez’s fitness concerns could force a shift in attack. Diogo Jota scored twice and provided an assist in Portugal’s 9-0 thrashing of Luxembourg on Monday while Cody Gakpo was on the scoresheet for Holland in their Euro 2024 qualifiers against Greece and Ireland.
Gakpo dropped to the bench for Liverpool’s impressive win over Aston Villa as Klopp opted for a more conventional midfield trio of Curtis Jones, Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai.
But it’s in defence where Klopp will likely be most concerned about his team selection for the Wolves game. Jarell Quansah may be needed to step into the centre of defence alongside Joel Matip if Alexander-Arnold isn’t fit enough to start, with Joe Gomez moving out to right-back.
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