Jurgen Klopp has suggested both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez could return to Liverpool’s starting line-up when the Reds take on Norwich in their Premier League opener on Saturday.
Both of Liverpool’s first choice centre-backs missed the majority of last season through injury, and their absence was sorely felt.
Van Dijk damaged his ACL in a collision with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford back in October, while Gomez also suffered a season-ending knee tendon injury a month later during England training.
The pair returned to action as second-half substitutes during a friendly defeat to Hertha Berlin last month, but there had been an expectation that Joel Matip would begin the season in defence alongside £35million summer signing Ibrahima Konate.
However, Klopp confirmed on Thursday that may no longer be the case.
Asked if Van Dijk and Gomez could be ready to start at Carrow Road, the manager said: “I think so, it looks like. But, how it is with these kind of things, we have nothing to rush in this department.
“We just have to then make a decision on who will start, who will come on, things like this and if I think they are ready for 90 minutes then they are ready to start.
“If I think we have to take them off earlier then it makes no sense because centre-half is not actually a position where you want to change during a game and so we will see.
“But both look really good. An intense season is coming up. We will see how we decide that.”
Liverpool will, however, be without full-back Andy Robertson, who suffered an ankle injury during a friendly against Athletic Bilbao at the weekend.
The Scot has been joined on the sidelines by Curtis Jones who picked up a concussion against Osasuna on Monday.
Kostas Tsimikas is set to come out of the cold to fill in for Robertson at left-back, having barely played during his first season with the club.
The Greek defender impressed during pre-season and Klopp was full of praise for the £11.75m man and his ‘really good’ displays, which saw him flying up and down the wing.
And Tsimikas has insisted he is ready to make an impact during Robertson’s absenc.
“I always give my best to be close to the team,” he told LFCTV.
“Whenever my coach gives me the opportunity to play, I’m always ready for that.
“I wait for my opportunity, I’m ready.”
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