Liverpool are optimistic captain Jordan Henderson will be fit for their Premier League match against Arsenal next Monday.
Henderson had to come off with a thigh issue in the 2-0 win over Chelsea last time out and will not be fit in time to play a part in the away EFL Cup third-round match against Lincoln City on Thursday.
But assistant manager Pep Lijnders suggested the midfielder’s injury was not serious, while defender Joe Gomez is poised to return to training.
“Hendo, hopefully he will get back next week,” Lijnders said to the club’s website ahead of the Lincoln game.
“[Thursday] for sure is too soon for Hendo. Maybe [back for Arsenal], yeah, hopefully. It will be tight, day by day, let us hope.
“[For] Joe [it] comes too soon, he will train Friday with the team – that is good news, to be honest.
“Joel Matip will probably only come back during the international break; that will take some longer time, some more time.”
While Liverpool have won the Premier League and Champions League in the past two seasons, they have not triumphed in a domestic cup since winning the EFL Cup in 2012.
“We want to attack each competition,” Lijnders said at his pre-match news conference.
“In football you cannot think far ahead, especially this season – [it is like a] Christmas period from now on, but we prepared with a good pre-season.
“This team has the mentality to just focus on next game. Most important thing is how we have evolved our squad, it gives us more opportunity to attack each competition.
“Last year we spoke about talent. This phase has gone, these [young] players now represent a position in our squad. We feel we are ready.”
Asked about how many youngsters would feature in the starting XI to face Lincoln, Lijnders added: “The team on Thursday will be strong.
“It’s about finding a good balance to combine experience [and youth]. We will be playing [against] a team that will defend deep and counter-attack and has pace on the wings.
“They are on a good run and have an experienced manager, a club that over the last four years was quite successful with two promotions.
“So we have to be prepared – our team selection will reflect that. I don’t want to give the team at this moment because we still have one training [session] to go, we have to see how a few players are.
“We want to attack that game, show our hunger, show our desire, put a team out who represents our club – with big, big names involved, big, big players involved. And a lot of talent as well.”