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Caoimhin Kelleher starts for Liverpool as Klopp confirms Alisson illness 'not Covid'

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Liverpool's Caoimhin Kelleher during the warm up before the Premier League clash with Brighton at Anfield

Liverpool's Caoimhin Kelleher during the warm up before the Premier League clash with Brighton at Anfield

Liverpool's Caoimhin Kelleher during the warm up before the Premier League clash with Brighton at Anfield

Ireland goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher has started for Liverpool in tonight's Premier League clash with Brighton.

The Corkman was promoted after first-choice keeper Alisson was ruled out due to illness.

Manager Jurgen Klopp told BT Sport: "Ali is ill – (it’s) not Covid, thank God. Not seriously, but there was no chance. He woke up this morning and was not well and we couldn’t bring him."

Liverpool's injury misery has been never-ending this season, but they have been given a big boost with confirmation that Diogo Jota is closing in on a first team return.

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Diogo Jota is on course for a return to the Liverpool squad

Diogo Jota is on course for a return to the Liverpool squad

Diogo Jota is on course for a return to the Liverpool squad

Jota has not played since picking up an injury in Liverpool's final Champions League group game in December, when he was selected by Klopp even though the Reds were already through to the knock-out stages.

It proved to be a fateful decision as Jota picked up a serious injury and the striker who was in fine form up to that point was badly missed as Liverpool went on a bad run in his absence.

Now Jota has given the first hint that he is closing in on a return, after posting video footage of his comeback on his social media channels.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have named defender Virgil van Dijk in their updated Champions League squad for the knock-out stages of the competition, leaving the door open for him to make a first team return this season.

Holland coach Frank De Boer is expecting Van Dijk to be fit for this summer's European Championship finals and if that timescale is accurate, he may also be eyeing up an appearance for Liverpool in the Champions League final in Istanbul on May 29.

New signings Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak have also been included, but Nat Phillips also included in a line-up that does not include the injured Joel Matip.

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Goalkeepers: Alisson, Adrian, Caomhin Kelleher.

Defenders: Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Ozan Kabak, Kostas Tsimikas, Andy Robertson, Ben Davies, Nat Phillips, Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Midfielders: Fabinho, Gini Wijnaldum, Thiago Alcantara, James Milner, Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xherdan Shaqiri.

Attackers: Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, Divock Origi.

Named 'List B players'

Vitezslav Jaros (on loan to St Patrick's Athletic), Rhys Williams, Neco Williams, Billy Koumetio, Yasser Larouci, Curtis Jones, Elijah Dixon-Bonner, Jake Cain, Leighton Clarkson, Paul Glatzel, Luis Longstaff, Layton Stewart, Liam Millar (on loan to Charlton).


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