A liverpool training session for Darwin Nunez


Darwin Nunez, who was playing at the time for Benfica, had not been reported as training with Liverpool as of my knowledge cutoff date in 2021. It is also worth noting that Liverpool would need to approach Benfica and negotiate a transfer deal if they were interested in acquiring Nunez’s services.

Jurgen Klopp did, however, remain hopeful as he discussed the situation in his pre-match press conference.

And with Liverpool taking in open training at the AXA Training Centre hours later, Nunez was one of 21 outfield players to warm up in front of the cameras.

How involved Nunez was in training remains to be seen – whether he will be fit to start or just for the bench – but it is a significant boost regardless.

Ibrahima Konate, Thiago, Luis Diaz and Calvin Ramsay remain out with long-term injuries, though the Colombian is now running outdoors as he nears his return.

Liverpool trained in front of the cameras in Kirkby ahead of facing Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday, as is required by UEFA ahead of each matchday.

Jürgen Klopp oversaw a gentle session in which the Liverpool players did some light running and then moved into some passing drills, with the bulk of the work ahead of Real Madrid taking place in private.

Variety of training gear

On one end of the spectrum, some Liverpool stars wore snoods and gloves to keep themselves warm (it has undoubtedly been considerably colder in Kirkby than the 11 degrees Celsius (52 Fahrenheit) conditions here).

On the other hand, James Milner and Jordan Henderson were wearing shorts.

There did not appear to be any surprise players returning or absent from the session, with Klopp already having held his press conference earlier in the day.

Ibrahima Konaté and Luis Díaz hope to be involved for the return leg in around a month, but neither was set to play in this game. Arthur Melo was present but is not in the Champions League squad and, therefore, cannot play.

Jurgen Klopp’s side will be even more desperate for a win at Old Trafford after drawing their opening two season matches against Fulham and Crystal Palace. Liverpool is already four points adrift of defending champions Manchester City in the Premier League and cannot afford any more slip-ups.

Monday’s 1-1 draw against Palace at Anfield came amid a mini-injury crisis for Klopp, which was then made worse by Darwin Nunez’s red card for a headbutt on Joachim Andersen. Thankfully, they have been given a week to prepare for United, who are bottom of the league after two straight defeats. Here are five things Mirror Football noticed from Thursday’s Reds training session.

There was no sign of Nat Phillips, either, while reserve centre-back Rhys Williams was not part of the session, having played for the under-21s the previous day.

Bar a possible replacement for Nunez, Klopp is expected to stay the same when Real arrives at Anfield, with one of Diogo Jota or Roberto Firmino potentially coming into the attack.

Otherwise, an unchanged back four and midfield should start, with Stefan Bajcetic in line for his biggest game.

All smiles before Madrid

Unsurprisingly, the Liverpool squad appeared to be in a good mood. Having beaten Everton and Newcastle, Real Madrid is another significant quality improvement, but the Reds have started to look like themselves again.

In order to achieve their other goal – finishing in the Premier League top four – they will need to improve again, but the first steps have been positive and taken at the right time.

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Marta Lopez

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By Marta Lopez


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