The impressive displays from both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keïta in the Champions League have provided Jürgen Klopp with a decision to make ahead of the clash with Spurs.
After past injury problems the Englishman now looks somewhere close to returning to his breathtaking best. The Southampton academy product suffered a significant injury towards the end of the 2017/18 campaign, damaging his knee in multiple areas against Roma. It left him out for much of the last season and requiring an operation.
Since marking his return to the side, it is clear that Klopp is keen to manage his fitness. He featured at Genk but has only been used as a bit-part figure so far this. The 26-year-old began the season with 89 minutes on the opening day at St Mary’s but, heading into the 10th game, he is still yet to complete a full 90 minutes in any competition.
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While the positive results continue, previous matches have shown a slight dip in standards, until most recently in Belgium. Oxlade-Chamberlain stole the show, scoring a stunning brace to restore confidence among the fans having dropped points for the first time in the Premier League at the weekend.
The Reds were below their par against Manchester United and relied on a late Adam Lallana goal to prevent a first league loss of the season. It came off the back of two rather shaky displays in both FC Salzburg and Sheffield United respectively.
In three games Oxlade-Chamberlain featured in just over 30 minutes, with the majority coming against the Red Devils. His presence at Old Trafford certainly proved useful, as Klopp’s men pushed in the final third of the match.
His impact subsequently earned him a starting spot in the Champions League and the faith shown in him by Klopp was certainly repaid. He managed another 74 valuable minutes and helped contribute to a precious 4-1 away win.
Not only did Genk signal a return for the Ox, Klopp was also able to welcome back Naby Keïta to the starting line-up. Similarly, the Guinean also featured late on against United in what was his first taste of Premier League action this season, but he was allowed to complete the game against Genk.
A more recent return from injury may well limit his chances of keeping his place in the side for the visit of Spurs at the weekend. The likelihood is that Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum will both regain starting berths, although positive impacts from the two midfield men will provide healthy competition.