Liverpool will host Championship club Derby at Anfield in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday (9th November). They will then face Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday (12th November).
The matches against Derby and Southampton will be the Reds' last two games before the pause for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. They will thus be hopeful of going into the break on a high.
As Liverpool prepare for their final two matches ahead of the break, Lijnders has provided an injury update on some players. Naby Keita and James Milner are notably close to returning to action.
Lijnders revealed that Keita has started training individually and could possibly be available for selection against Southampton. Milner, on the other hand, is on course to be ready for the match against the Saints. The Dutchman told the club's official website:
“Naby [Keita] will be difficult, he’s still training individually. Let’s see for Southampton. Millie [Milner] will definitely be ready for Southampton but this game [against Derby] comes too early for tomorrow."
Lijnders also disclosed that Joel Matip will not feature for the Reds before the break despite being close to regaining full fitness. He added:
“Then we have of course Joel [Matip], who is getting closer to team training but will not make Southampton probably."
The Anfield outfit also have a couple of long-term absentees in their ranks in the shape of Diaz and Diogo Jota. Diaz suffered an injury during the team's 3-2 loss to Arsenal last month, while Jota received a setback a week later against Manchester City.
Among the two, Diaz is closer to regaining full fitness as he is set to start running again this week. Addressing the Colombian and Jota's situations, Lijnders said:
“The longer injuries, Luis Diaz is running for the first time on Thursday. That’s good news because we all know how important he was last year and in the second half of the season. And Jota will take longer.”
Diaz and Jota's absence is a huge blow to Liverpool
Diaz has scored four goals and provided three assists from 12 appearances across all competitions for Liverpool this term. Jota, on the other hand, has provided five assists in just 375 minutes of action.
Diaz and Jota's absence has already proved to be a huge blow for the Merseyside-based club. They have lost two of their four Premier League matches since both players were injured.