Five things spotted from Liverpool training ahead of crunch Carabao Cup semi-final vs Arsenal

Liverpool were in training under manager Jurgen Klopp on Tuesday as they prepare for their Carabao Cup semi-final against Arsenal in north London on Thursday evening

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  • 21:00, 18 Jan 2022
  • Updated21:08, 18 Jan 2022
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Liverpool have been preparing to travel down to London to face Arsenal in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final on Thursday.

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Jurgen Klopp’s side were disappointed not to take a lead into the second leg, having drawn last week’s encounter 0-0 at Anfield, despite Granit Xhaka’s early red card.

Takumi Minamino spurned the best chance for the hosts in the second half as Arsenal held firm to give themselves a good chance of reaching the final against Chelsea.

The mood in the Liverpool camp was boosted by their comfortable 3-0 win over Brentford in the Premier League on Sunday, which included goals for Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Minamino.

The Reds were back in training at the AXA Training Centre in Kirkby on Tuesday. Here are five things we noticed from the session.

Elliott back in training

Harvey Elliott was back in full Liverpool training for the first time since his injury
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Tuesday was a big day for Harvey Elliott, who was back in full training following a long spell on the sidelines with a broken ankle.

The 18-year-old made an eye-catching start to the season with Liverpool, but saw it all come crashing down following a challenge by Leeds defender Pascal Struijk on September 12.

Elliott’s rehabilitation has gone smoothly and, after being pictured doing individual work in recent weeks, the young midfielder was back training alongside his team-mates.

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Klopp was delighted to have him back, sharing a big hug with the young star.

Liverpool will not rush him back into action, but the sight of him with the ball at his feet is an exciting one for the club’s fans.

All smiles for Minanimo

Takumi Minamino is full of confidence after scoring against Brentford
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John Powell/Getty Images)

Minamino’s miss against Arsenal drew plenty of criticism last week, with the Japan international spurning Liverpool’s best chance to win the first leg.

His lack of composure after a mistake by Aaron Ramsdale could still prove costly, but supporters will have been happy to see him bounce back with a goal against Brentford.

The 27-year-old was one of the players earmarked to step up while Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are away at the Africa Cup of Nations – and he did that on Sunday.

Back in training today, he was in good spirits as he shared a joke with his team-mates.

Phillips in shop window

Nat Phillips could leave Liverpool this month
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Nat Phillips was among those involved in training, despite not having featured in a game since breaking his cheekbone in the 2-1 win over AC Milan on December 7.

Phillips has been linked with a move away from Anfield this month, with Burnley and Newcastle said to be among the clubs interested in his services.

The 24-year-old stepped up admirably in the injury crisis last season, but has played just three times this season with Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez above him in the pecking order.

Whether Liverpool are willing to sanction his exit remains to be seen.

Youngsters involved

Jurgen Klopp included several academy graduates in his training session
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Kaide Gordon, Leighton Clarkson, Tyler Morton, Marcelo Pitaluga and Conor Bradley were all involved in Klopp’s session on Tuesday afternoon.

Gordon scored in the 4-1 FA Cup win over Shrewsbury on January 9 and was pictured being given some one-on-one advice from Klopp.

None of the youngsters got onto the pitch in the first leg against Arsenal, but Klopp is clearly keen to keep them around the first team picture at a time when the squad are missing three players due to AFCON.

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As we’ve seen, coronavirus can strike at any time, so further game time could be around the corner for Liverpool’s young guns.

Karius in limbo

Loris Karius has not played a game for Liverpool since the Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid in 2018 – and yet he is still at the club.

The German goalkeeper has spent time on loan with Besiktas in Turkey and German side Union Berlin, but is currently training with Klopp on Merseyside.

Loris Karius is still training with Liverpool
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He is at least the fourth-choice goalkeeper, behind Alisson, Caoimhin Kelleher and Adrian – and potentially even the fifth, if you include Pitaluga – and Liverpool are keen to offload him this month, with his contract set to expire in June.

"In the end it’s down to him, his agent and the club to try to find a solution," goalkeeper coach John Achterberg told The Athletic recently.

"Hopefully there will be one this month. It doesn’t help anyone to sit for another six months without the feeling that you are really fighting for something.”

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