Liverpool have five new issues ahead of Chelsea clash to give Jurgen Klopp big headache

Klopp makes title race admission after Liverpool lose at Leicester

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been dealt a further five blows ahead of Sunday’s match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Klopp has confirmed three more first-team players have tested positive for COVID-19. The German also announced both Thiago Alcantara and Takumi Minamino will miss this weekend’s match due to injury.

Klopp would not reveal which three players will be absent after testing positive.

But he claimed it will be obvious when the starting XIs are announced on Sunday.

Klopp said: “I’m not able to say who it is but it’ll be pretty clear on the teamsheet the day after tomorrow.

“It’s not so cool in the moment.”

Klopp revealed Thiago has a hip injury which could keep him out for a while, with Minamino set to return first.

“Thiago and Minamino, no (not fit to return),” he added.

“Taki is probably closer, he is running outside, and Thiago not.

“It might take a little longer, a hip issue we have no idea where it’s coming from. We have to be a bit patient.”

Klopp says Liverpool have not requested for Sunday’s match to be postponed yet but admits there are more positive cases every day.

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Liverpool could find themselves 12 points behind leaders Manchester City ahead of kick-off on Sunday.

The Reds would have two games in hand on Pep Guardiola’s side.

But Klopp knows his side must improve on their performance in the 1-0 loss to Leicester.

“We have to make sure we’re really on it again and I expect a really strong Chelsea,” Klopp said.

“They have a proper football team. Leicester gave us a good example that it can be intense. We will put a proper shift in.”

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel says he cannot compete for the title with his current squad absentees.

But Klopp is adamant he is not giving up on top spot just yet.

“You cannot win the league properly in the winter,” he said.

“It’s unlikely but what City have now is a gap, they deserve it, but let’s just give it a go. Only one team can be champions.

“A decisive moment in April, you have to be close enough then. So many games to play, oh my God.”

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