Liverpool handed Oxlade-Chamberlain & Lovren fitness boosts

Updates on the progress being made by both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Dejan Lovren, in their respective attempts to return from injury, have this evening been provided online.

Liverpool vs Burnley

Jurgen Klopp’s men are set to welcome Burnley to Anfield on Sunday afternoon, as the Reds attempt to get their domestic form back on track.

A run of just two wins from their last 6 league outings has seen Liverpool lose their spot atop the Premier League table, with the Merseyside giants now trailing champions Manchester City by a point in a tightly-contested title race.

Mohamed Salah is foiled by Jordan Pickford during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

As such, a meeting with Sean Dyche’s Clarets, who are fresh off the back of consecutive defeats at the hands of Newcastle and Crystal Palace, could prove exactly what the doctor ordered for the Reds.

The Ox making strides

And, with an equally-crucial Champions League last-16 matchup with Bayern Munich also on the horizon, Liverpool have this afternoon been handed some timely positive news on the injury-front.

Speaking in an interview with the club’s official website a short time ago, Jurgen Klopp confirmed that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has not featured in a competitive fixture since rupturing his ACL last April, is set to line out for Liverpool’s U23’s versus Derby County tomorrow afternoon:

‘The plan is to give him some match time.’

‘All that we saw so far in training looks really good. It looks really exciting. But we all know it is a massive difference between each training session you have and playing a proper game.’

‘It’s not about the opponent. It’s about judging situations, a bigger pitch, higher intensity, a different concentration level. The preparation for a match is different to a normal training session. So players after a long period [out] need to get used to that.’

‘There is absolutely no expectation on the game [for him] apart from go through it, tick that box, come back and go on training again. It doesn’t say anything about him ‘being ready for five days later’ or whatever. It is just a first – and very, very important – step. As I said, in training Ox is back but now we have to make sure we really prepare him for the rest of his career and the rest of this season.’

Lovren boost

Defender Dejan Lovren, meanwhile, has been sidelined since the beginning of January with a niggling hamstring problem.

The Croatian international, though, made a return to first-team training today, and looks likely to be included in Liverpool’s squad to take on Burnley on Sunday:

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