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Monday 19 February 2018

Enrique doubtful for Villa clash

Jose Enrique could miss the Aston Villa match with a hamstring problem
Jose Enrique could miss the Aston Villa match with a hamstring problem

Liverpool defender Jose Enrique admits he is an injury doubt for this weekend's visit of Aston Villa.

The left-back was forced off with a hamstring problem after 27 minutes of Sunday's victory at West Ham. Although the injury is not serious, the Villa match may come too early for the 26-year-old to recover sufficiently.

"I am okay but I don't know if I'll be ready for the game," he said. "It's nothing bad but I don't know if I'll be able to play. I've had some treatment and then we will see. I hope I can be fit for the game."

Enrique was troubled by a knee injury early in the season which restricted his participation and it appeared he had fallen well down the first-team pecking order.

However, having been re-integrated into the side in an attacking left-sided role his form and confidence have improved and that has been maintained when moved back into defence for the last three games.

Those have produced two Barclays Premier League victories, plus one in the Europa League which secured qualification for the last 32, to give a boost to their hopes of challenging for the top four.

Brendan Rodgers' side are only four points adrift of city rivals Everton, who currently occupy the final Champions League qualification spot, and the packed festive programme gives them a chance to reduce the gap further.

"We will have many, many games. We have to think we can be there," Enrique told "We have beaten good teams this season. The teams at the top have been losing a lot of games so we have a chance.

"We're just four points behind the Champions League places and we have a big chance to be there before January finishes. We have to take it step-by-step. We have two games at home (against Villa and Fulham) now and we'll try to win them both.

"Then if we can get some good players in the transfer window, maybe we can do something."

Press Association

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