Luis Diaz back in training: Will he be fit to play against Manchester City?
After five months on the sidelines Diaz returned to training this week and could be in contention for the trip to the Etihad Stadium.
Before the international break Liverpool signed off from the Premier League with a drab 1-0 defeat at the hands of relegation-threatened Bournemouth. Jurgen Klopp’s men have 12 games remaining in which to secure Champions League qualification for next season, but have been handed a major boost ahead of this weekend’s trip to Manchester City.
Colombian winger Luis Diaz was back in training for Liverpool this week as his return to full fitness continues.
Diaz arrived on Merseyside mid-way through last season and was a catalyst for the form that saw Liverpool reach the Champions League final and lift two domestic trophies. The Anfield faithful will hope that his introduction can bring about another upturn this campaign.
Liverpool’s attack has faltered this season, despite a 7-0 win over Manchester United, with neither Darwin Nunez nor Cody Gakpo truly cementing their place in the side. Klopp will hope that Diaz’s return can add to Liverpool’s attacking firepower for the run-in.
Will Luis Diaz be fit for Manchester City?
In recent years the fixtures between Liverpool and Manchester City have often been key title deciders. But Liverpool’s inconsistency this season has left them heading to the Etihad Stadium in need of points to kick-start their push for a top four spot.
Diaz has been out of contention since picking up a knee injury in October’s defeat to Arsenal. He then suffered another setback in December during the club’s training camp in Dubai.
After five months out, Diaz could make the bench this weekend but is extremely unlikely to start. Klopp should have Mohammed Salah, Diogo Jota, Nunez and Gakpo to choose between from the start, so Diaz will be an option off the bench at most.
Last month Klopp highlighted the need for caution in reintroducing Diaz to the Liverpool team.
“When he’s back he will be really good and very impactful, of course. That’s clear, [but] how quickly I don’t know,” Klopp said. “We have to see, that’s the big challenge in these moments – there’s no time for being patient but you have to be patient.”
“So, we will see, but I am positive about him, that he has a good chance to have a real impact in like 10, 11 or 12 games maybe. Let’s see how long it exactly takes.”
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