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Liverpool step up their pre-season preparations later this week and Jurgen Klopp is delighted with the progress of his injured quartet of defenders.
The Reds, who are conducting an intense four-week training programme in Austria, on Tuesday they will face FC Wacker Innsbruck and Stuttgart in two 30-minute friendly matches.
In those games, Liverpool could be boosted by the returns of Joel Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold, while Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk continue their positive recovery.
Gomez and Van Dijk missed large portions of last season thanks to serious knee injuries, while Matip suffered an ankle ligament injury in January.
Jurgen Klopp has been delighted with the progress made by his injured quartet of defenders
Alexander-Arnold completed the season, but missed out on Euro 2020 thanks to suffering a tear in his thigh in one of England’s warm-up matches.
Klopp has suggested that Matip is the furthest along of the four and left coaches stunned in a recent training session.
The Cameroon international was captured scoring two wonderful individual goals, one leaving Mohamed Salah in disgust and the other getting one over his new defensive colleague Ibrahima Konate.
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“I am not sure if we have it on camera, but when Joel scored the goal [in training], Pete Krawietz was standing next to me and said, ‘Good surgery!’ He is in good shape, wow," Klopp told the club's official site.
“Joel Matip is this kind of player, who flourishes in the moment when he enters the pitch. I think nobody heard him saying a lot of things when he is stood next to the pitch, but when it is a game situation – whichever game it is – he is in.
“He missed that very much because he was out for a long time, but as I said before he was the closest of all the four long-term injuries. Trent is now in normal sessions as well and we’ll see what we do with that on Tuesday.”
Joel Matip stunned coaches with his goals in training
As for Gomez, the Liverpool boss added: "No setbacks at all. Not for Joe, nothing – he’s trained completely normal.
“That’s the thing, these boys are not injured anymore, they are just not at 100 per cent yet. There are usually setbacks but so far there were no setbacks with Joe and Virgil and nobody [else] – they are all fine.
“What they had to do they did, no reaction with the knee, nothing, all fine. The world wide web had obviously too much time.”
Klopp confirmed that Matip is set to play on Tuesday, while Gomez and Van Dijk are getting “closer and closer” to a return.
“I think there is absolutely no doubt Joel can play on Tuesday. Trent looks for me like [he can] but I will have to speak to the medical department and they will tell me if it is too early.
“Then, Joe and Virgil are in a similar situation – not exactly the same, but similar. Both have done parts of our normal training and then they have to do extra parts.
“They are getting closer and closer, that’s the impression we have.”
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